Category Archives: Wayne B Jonas, MD

Challenges to Our Current Health Care System

image of man on hospital bed

First of all, we pay almost double of any other country for medical and health care, and yet we’re 30th or lower in our health indices. At the current rate we will spend 25 percent of our gross national product by 2025 and almost half of it by 2082 if we don’t change what we are doing. The baby boomers have started to turn 65, which means there’s a tsunami of chronic needs and illnesses coming down the pike.

We are standing on the train tracks with the train coming straight at us; yet we don’t seem to be able to move; even to save our lives. Read more

Two Approaches to Pain and Illness

iPad and stethescope

In the West we are divided about healing pain. We take two approaches and rarely integrate them. One approach to pain and illness is a technological approach. This the “we’re going to go in and we’re going to fix you” approach. It’s often done later in the disease process, is often high-cost, and it usually is quite manipulative. It over values the physical things you can see and do. For example, people in pain often get drugs, but also surgery or implantable devices.

The other approach is less visible. Read more

One Voice for Wellness


A flourishing society requires access to affordable health care, healthy food choices, a safe, natural environment and integrative medical care. Some might see this as an elusive dream, but I am optimistic that the shift from conventional medicine to a holistic health care approach is gaining momentum. While some have promoted this idea for decades, no one has been as effective in bringing it to our nation as Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

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Building a Different Way to Heal

holding hands
I have been a family physician for over 30 years. In my career, I have been a military physician, a medical school faculty member, a health policy advisor, a medical research training program director, and the director of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine, and a Director of a World Health Organization Traditional Medicine Center.

Over this period, I have learned about and investigated many of the world’s healing traditions many that are very different than the western medicine of my training.

During my time at NIH and working with WHO, one of the things that I observed was that the world’s healing traditions and our western healing methods, if you go back several hundred years, were not very different.

But in the last hundred years, ours western approach has radically changed—often for the good and sometimes for the bad. With my next few posts, I’d like to illustrate both sides of that coin: showing you the dilemma that we’re in in health care today and, I hope, the way out of that dilemma.
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