This quote came up in an interview I was watching today between Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Dean Ornish as they discussed the keys to being healthy, and I just couldn’t shake how profoundly true it is. At least to me.
What do you think?
This idea that being healthy and happy is not something you have to chase down, it is not something that you have to seek answers from in somebody else. It is something that is already in you, as buried as it might be, waiting for enough obstacles to be moved aside so that it can fully blossom and flourish.
As a future doctor, it warms my heart to see patients make peace with the noise and allow the quiet to envelope them. In the end, they always had all the answers, in their own brilliantly unique way. It was finding a clear path through the clutter and mess that they ultimately needed help with.
And a good doctor will be that guide through the mess.
A good doctor will know that you are the expert on yourself. You are essential to your journey to health; supporting you, supports that journey.
A good doctor will recognize the obstacles you face, as multi-faceted as they might be. The 101 kinds of stress you feel, the daily grind you face, the hope you carry or the hope you have lost. A good doctor might not know how to move each obstacle, but they will do the best they can to make room for you to find your solution.
A good doctor will be firm in the face of your excuses. We all have them, they are another obstacle in our path. If excuses are met with empathy and a curiosity to see what lies behind them, they will eventually wither and be replaced with real progress.
A good doctor will listen. More than anything. A good doctor will recognize their relationship with you will be as instrumental to healing as any medical intervention.
A good doctor will be human. A mirror sitting across from you, breathing when you breathe, succeeding and failing but always trying, same as you.
In the end, a good doctor will know more than medical jargon and how to interpret lab results; they will be educated shepherds, guiding you as best they can on a journey you create.
These doctors of the future are already being made. They are seeking an understanding of the human condition through many avenues; socially, physically, mentally, spiritually. But these future doctors are only the ushers; you are the conductor of this orchestra. You, the patients of the future, ultimately have the control, and together we can quiet the mind and body enough to experience what is already there.