NIH Director Calls Curative Model of Medical Practice Unsustainable
Because in a remarkable interview by Barbara Culliton , Deputy Editor of Health Affairs of the Director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Elias Zerhouni, MD said that the current curative model of US Medical practice is unsustainable. Published today on the Health Affairs website http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.25.w94/DC1 .Zerhouni sees his job at NIH , probably the most prestigious voice for bio- medical research worldwide, as one of "provocateur, not a manager of the status quo". He also emphasizes, as I have been, that the future of medicine be much more interdisciplinary although, unlike my own emphasis on fully integrating and leveraging bio-medicine with sociology, psychology, and theology (see www.ricklippin.com ), Zerhouni references the need for bio-medicine to shake hands with nanotechnology, sytems biology, and- get this folks- "openness to radical ideas" with the hope that NIH dollars will be spent more wisely and have a cumulative effect on population heath. Yes, you heard me- population health!
While he sees value in electronic medical records technology and even national health insurance , Dr. Zerhouni says these could help reduce medical costs but only at the margins. Zerhouni believes rather that the practice of medicine needs to be fundamentally altered.
This remarkable interview of an obviously creative and couragoeus bio-medical leader is very good news for those of us who believe that more incrementalism in US Health Care System reform is a recipe for failure and also for those of us who believe in the imperative for early disease detection, chronic disease management and best of all primary disease prevention.
My personal Rx for american citizens from a Doc like me is perhaps even more radical?- Meaningful, safe and healthy jobs for all American citizens who are able to contribute and compassionate healthcare for those fellow citizens who are unable to engage in work.
Back to my opening comment on this post. Please e-pinch me. I need to validate that I read this interview while not dreaming. Be well all - better days-they are a'comin! Maybe sooner than we think?