Category Archives: Wayne B Jonas, MD

How Communities Heal

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In most Western cultures, illness or injury is a very individual experience. Doctors fix the body, provide medication, and refer to counselors as needed. Those who are not sick go on with life as usual.

However, many traditional cultures have a different view of illness: a shared view that shifts the responsibility to the community at large.

These two fundamentally different ways of seeing the nature of human beings is manifested in how we help, or do not help, those who are sick or injured. One approach holds an assumption that outside help will be provided to those in need from those who have resources and no need. The other assumption is that there will be collective action in which all engage in finding a community solution.

Can these opposing views of illness shed light on how to resolve issues and heal trauma within communities?

Continue reading “How Communities Heal” »

To the Future Healers: Advice for the Graduating Class of 2015

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On May 22nd I addressed the 2015 graduates of Samuel Merritt University at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California. My advice? Beware of a focus on “cure” rather than healing; Acknowledge what you didn’t learn in medical school; Care for the whole person; and finally, Lead with compassion.  Continue reading “To the Future Healers: Advice for the Graduating Class of 2015” »

Palliative Care for our Veterans

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Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have died in service of the United States. On this day, many Americans also take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our Armed Forces. 

lineupshadow_webOver the next 25 years, the number of Veterans is projected to drop from 21 million[i] in 2015 to 15 million in 2040 with the passing of the “baby boomer”, post-WWII generation. It is a challenge to care for the large numbers of elderly from this wave. A major challenge in caring for aging populations is properly tempering the dominance of high-tech interventions that tend to be applied even in terminal patients and to those at the end of life. Communication is another major challenge:both communication barriers built into the health care system and a culture not wanting to or being unequipped to talk about death and end of life needs. Continue reading “Palliative Care for our Veterans” »

And Now: Community Wellness

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In 2013 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) documented what many in the healthy communities movement had known for a long time. That the health and prosperity of the nation was declining. What was remarkable and new in this study, however, was that these declines were occurring not just in a few areas of the country, or exclusively in poor or underserved areas, but across the entire nation – across multiple demographics and income levels. In addition, the study documented that this was not a recent phenomenon but, in fact, the health of the United States has been declining for more than 30 years. Continue reading “And Now: Community Wellness” »

A Modern Look at the Ancient Art of Healing

Avaton of Epidaurus - By Jean Housen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When we are ill we so often focus on what to do; a knife, a pill, a behavior change, your diet. Yet underlining any therapy is a process for its delivery that often produces more of an effect than the treatment itself. Let’s explore that process; the “how” of healing, and contrast it with the “what”. So often the “how” of healing involves spiritual engagement and activity.

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Avaton of Epidaurus – By Jean Housen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Ancient City of Medicine

A visit to Epidaurus, the ancient city of medicine where the Hippocratic school of medicine was founded reveals how ancient Greeks believed healing happens: Continue reading “A Modern Look at the Ancient Art of Healing” »

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