Saturday, April 25, 2009

The IOM - an important think tank

The Institute of Medicine is one of the most influential think tanks in the country. This February (Feb 25-27, 2009) the IOM led a summit, sponsored by the Bravewell Institute
The Bravewell Collaborative evaluating integrative medicine (also referenced as CAM or Complimentary and Alternative medicine)

For those who are trying to integrate "CAM" or Complimentary and Alternative Medicine into a traditonal practice, there is often the feeling of being alone, and isolated.

Evidence based medicine is important to our care of patients, and yet, those of us who have practiced long enough know the limits of evidence based practice.

A study in the March 2007 issue of Palliative Medicine, documented in an enormous sample of patients, that those patients who continued aggressive treatments that were failing, lived a shorter period of time, than those patients with the same illnesses who entered Hospice.

In essence - there is growing evidence support for safe, low cost, holistic methods in cases when high cost high side effect methods are not working.

Book Review "Help Healing Happen" by Janny Adkins

Janny Adkins writes a wonderful book that assists Health Care professionals, patients, and their loved ones. In describing the differences between traditional “curing,” and holistic “healing,” Janny offers us a structure for integrating caring . There is a marvelous wisdom to understanding both the value of Evidence Based modern medicine, but as well, its limitations. When there is no capacity to “cure,” Janny spells out for us a pathway to “heal.”

Janny is a powerful advocate for Hospice Care. Her many years of experience as a Hospice Nurse come through in this book. Although modern medicine can cure many conditions, we are still faced with diseases that lead to debility and death. We cannot afford to either abandon Scientific based cures, or rely solely on science when it reaches obvious limits. Doctors, Nurses, all members of the Hospice Team, patients and families have a need to find a bridge between Scientific and Spiritual care.

“Help Healing Happen” offers useful tools for us all. As a Hospice Medical Director I believe this book offers sage advice on blending Modern Medicine, with the Spiritual balance that we need in difficult times.