Our health depends more on lifestyle than the kind of doctors we have. Even the best advice, from the best doctors, will do us no good if we do not follow it. It is we, and not our doctors, who are ultimately responsible for our well-being.
Doctor as Teacher
According to the new Paradigm, doctors must give up their role as high priests and demigods and assume their new role as teachers. The word “doctor” comes from a Latin word for “teacher,” so this is the task they should have performed all along. It is the doctor’s responsibility to be knowledgeable about the principles of good health and to be willing to teach that knowledge to others. This requires that the doctor spend time with the patient, a difficult task in our technologically-based system.
Our doctors have been acting more like technicians than teachers, because our high-tech system is disease-oriented rather than health-oriented. A disease oriented system works for crisis situations, because a disease is a crisis. Our medical system excels in the treatment of trauma. They also perform amazing acts in such crises as heart attacks. A heart attack, however, is the end result of a long-term degenerative condition, such as hardening of the arteries. In such conditions prevention would make much more sense than waiting for the crisis to occur before taking action. It is in the prevention of disease, and in the treatment of degenerative and self-limiting conditions, that our technological medicine falls short.