Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spirituality - Short Take in Spirituality in Medicine

What - Noticeable return of spirituality to medicine (renewed stress on soul, spirit, and compassion in contrast to strict emphasis on science and technology)


Why - Chain of events is complex. But these beliefs and events seem to be occurring Science and technology have limits, end-of-life care has spiritual side, hospice movement surging, managed care does not offer solace, public is switching from strict disease-centered to holistic medicine models, and patients and doctors are seeking refuge from harsh costs, rules, and exclusions of coverage. This sequence of happenings may be part of maturity of American people towards aging, disease, and death.


When - Movement toward spirituality, though subtle, are growing as Americans confront aging population, realities of chronic and incurable disease, and this hard truth : none of us will get out of this alive.


How - About 100 of 150 U.S. medical schools are now integrating spirituality into curriculum as part of required course, and some medical schools and residency programs are offering hospice rotations as part of training .


Where - Everywhere. Part of generalized social trend away from strictly disease-oriented and scientifically-based models towards more realistic holistic approach. Public may be ahead of doctors on holistic curve.


Who - Those who believe spiritual practices, as well as meditation, prayer, humor, the arts, and alternative medicine, have roles to play in healing and dying.. Controversial in some quarters. Some think spirituality crosses the line, ignores science, and smacks of born-again or evangelical beliefs. Beside, they may add: hard science trumps everything.. It’s worth noting that physicians are more likely to attend religious services than rest of U.S. population and that 76% believe in God and 59% in an afterlife

7 comments:

Val said...

The positive impact of religion may be in its social networking component. A new study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons noticed a decrease in pain and length of stay for those who had more social contacts encouraging them post-op. :)

http://calibre.mworld.com/m/m.w?lp=GetStory&id=297510771

Paul said...

Have to say that in my fifteen years of deterioration from an illness that proved beyond diagnosis even at NIH, few doctors really treated me like a person, much less connected at a spiritual level.

I think it's partly the insurance dominated system and party that being a physician is a profession that, for some people, conduces to an outsized ego.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

Good observation. Social contacts and support ease pain and provide moral support.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

I'm not so sure what the lack of spirituality problem is. Some say it's because we're a materialistic nation. I doubt it's inflated physician egos. But I do know many physicians regard a patient's death as a personal defeat. As for me, I tell my wife I'm a humbel person, and she says I have a lot to be humble about.

Greg said...

Hi that's a great post.Enjoyed reading it. I found a website which can help us to relief stress the hassle-free way.Thought that i might share it here with you. It's at http://www.howtorelievestress.org

thelightwithinbook.com said...

There are many aspects to spirituality in medicine. Some are as they say related to Vertical spirituality-ones relationship with God...some are more Horizontal..perhaps even a relationship with one's physician or family and how they as two mortals relate to the faces before them. The book The Light Within covers this information well....

thelightwithinbook.com said...

There are many aspects to spirituality in medicine. Some are as they say related to Vertical spirituality-ones relationship with God...some are more Horizontal..perhaps even a relationship with one's physician or family and how they as two mortals relate to the faces before them. The book The Light Within covers this information well....