My first course in medical school was an odd one.
Professors asked us this question: "What is your definition of cure?"
I thought to myself, what is this place? That's easy. "Cure is the absence of disease after successful treatment of the patient."
I raised my hand and shared my thoughts.
The professor seemed pleased; however, I didn't realize he was pleased because I fell right into his trap.
Professor then asked me: "What is the absence of disease?"
Frustrated and wanting to pounce on him, I simply reversed my statement. "The absence of disease is cure."
He smiled even wider.
I cannot tell you how irritated I became.
Who is this guy? Why are we having a class on defining the word cure in medical school? What is the point? Tell us how the body works, how diseases work and then how to fix it. That's medicine.
His questions burned in my head and his smile as well. I knew my answers were incorrect and wholly incomplete; yet, I didn't know how to answer the question; nor did anyone else in the class for that matter.
I didn't get the point of that class until right before I graduated from Bastyr University.
People cannot be cured. Disease states cannot be cured.
Doctors are not gods. Doctors are purely facilitators and guides for the patient. The patient is responsible for obtaining health and maintaining it.
Cure is impossible as life is dynamic. The body is dynamic. Cure is a static state.
I can tell that you are scratching your head like I was.
After you work with patients for years and see all types of health problems, you realize there is no cure.
A patient can come in with a sinus infection and 'I can cure them' with herbs, inhalations, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, nutrients or antibiotics.
Writing that made me cringe.
I didn't cure them. I simply assisted their body with the vehicles it needed in order to remove the obstacle in their sinuses.
However, at first I really did think I was curing patients. It felt great when you had a patient come in initially miserable and in pain. Then in two weeks they come back and they are bouncy, giddy and besides themselves with happiness that their pain is gone. They're cured! I did that!
Two months later, the same pain-free, giddy patient was on the patient list for the day. I wondered what was ailing them today; surely not pain.
They were in pain.
To make matters worse, the patient gave up on me, on the process and on themselves.
The patient was tired of the lifestyle changes I recommended. They were tired of avoiding egg whites because we found that it was egg whites causing her pain to flare up. They were tired of exercising three times a week. She wanted to go to restaurants, dine with friends, eat what she wanted to eat and not worry about taking her supplements.
She wanted to be put on steroids.
I informed her of the horrific side effects of steroids:
- cannot sleep at night
- brittle bones and osteopenia
- avascular necrosis of the hip
- weight gain
- irritability and anger
- weakened immune system
- weakened adrenals
That was all fine with her. It was better than maintaining, balancing and persevering.
I never saw her again. I felt like I lost.
I didn't lose anything. I gained.
I gained full realization that there is no cure.
"Cure is not possible as health requires constant maintenance, balance and perseverance."
Do you think there is cure? Do you think I am way off base? Share your thoughts. This is a huge topic and one that needs to be addressed.
To maintenance, balance and perseverance,
Keep HealthE. Stay in touch:
PS - You wondering who my professor was in my class? This guy: Dr Brad Lichtenstein. He is a wizard and highly talented with words and as a guide.
PPS - The class name was: Vis Medicatrix Naturae. Learn about the Vis Medicatrix Naturae. You'll be glad you did.