Category Archives: Wayne B Jonas, MD

Three Elements of Healing

conversation with patient

To optimally heal, doctors focus three simple elements:

  • Supporting and caring for the inherent healing capacity of the whole person.
  • Stimulating that healing capacity when necessary.
  • Sustained healing depends on delivering healing interventions in a way is meaningful to the patient.

Those are the three elements of healing that doctors consider all the time, deliver every day, often doing intentionally but sometimes even subconsciously.   Read more

The Evidence of Enough

Graphic of connecting dots

Samueli Institute does research: meticulous and rigorous research in the laboratory; pragmatic and personal research in the clinic and with the public. One of the questions we wrestle with all the time with our scientific partners, clinicians and patients is “When and what type of research is enough?”

Is it enough to have three randomized controlled trials and a meta-analysis? Do we require placebo controls for everything? Is it essential to isolate the specific effects of a treatment to be considered scientific? How do we determine what’s really important for patients and the public? Where is the role of stories and narrative in creating evidence? Read more

From Worksite Wellness Programs to a Framework for Flourishing


As workplace wellness has exploded into a $6 billion industry, the value of worksite wellness programs has become the topic of a much-needed and vigorous debate. As part of the dialogue, an article by Al Lewis and Vik Khanna in the journal Health Affairs questions whether worksite wellness programs improve health and wellness and save money OR if they cost money, coerce people and create adverse effects.

Many medical interventions (including drugs and surgery) often look good in observational studies only to be shown to be ineffective (or effective in a subgroup only) in rigorously done randomized controlled trials.

My work with the military and at Samueli Institute has shown that the issue is bigger than we thought and it requires a new approach.  Read more

The Anatomy of Social Impact

I recently took my mother back to my father’s old church, which she hadn’t visited in some time. A broken hip followed by a stroke had set her back, but visiting this church triggered a flood of memories about my father for both of us.

More than 10 years ago my father, who was a Presbyterian minister, my mother, and a few others from the church began collecting food for a homeless shelter in downtown San Diego every Sunday. It was an unannounced, spontaneous effort that just caught on with a handful of people. Read more

Good Science, Good Medicine

iPad and stethescope

Beliefs – called paradigms in science – are the hardest things to change. As Albert Einstein said, it is easier to crack an atom than a mind, and this applies in the area of medicine and healing also. With the change of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) in December 2014- that change in mind has occurred.

What was once frontier has now become mainstream.

What was once unconventional and alternative medicine has now become simply medicine.

As Dr. Josie Briggs, the current director of NCCIH has stated, the name change reflects the movement in the standard of care towards integrative care. Read more

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