Well Dr. Leana Wen, MD is just knocking it outta the park. She's making big changes in the big system. She's calling for establishing trust between patients & physicians. She created Who's My Doctor - A campaign for Total Transparency; Building a new paradigm of medicine; Asking Doctors to disclose their beliefs, their financial ties, their conflicts of interest. You can see an example of what it looks like on her site.
Oh my stars if we could do something like this for Naturopathic Medicine, I would sleep so much better about the type of care the public is receiving. But that is a big task, so we start with a little Change.
Is she doing this because Doctors are lying, cheating sneaks? No.
She's doing this because she too recognizes that TRUST has fallen through the cracks in all medical dialogues, alternative or conventional. Trust and relationship are withering away as patients cast doubt on their physicians commitment, physicians are torn between service & income and everyone seems to just turn their heads toward diagnostic tests hoping that we'll never have to talk about the elephant in the room - that we don't know each other anymore.
Beauty quote from the talk:
"Being totally transparent is scary. You feel naked, exposed and vulnerable, but that vulnerability, that humility, it can be an extraordinary benefit to the practice of medicine. When doctors are willing to step off out pedestals, take off our white coats, and show our patients who we are and what medicine is all about, that's when we begin to overcome the sickness of fear.
That's when we establish trust. That's when we change the paradigm of medicine from one of secrecy and hiding to one that is fully open and engaged for our patients."
Change doctors know that this is the way.
This is not isolated to our conventional medical system. Naturopathic Medicine is riddled with conflicts of interest - There's far too much hiding of beliefs, biases & financial motivations - the same type that Medical Doctors are dealing with. Naturopathic Medicine is currently able to ride the credit of being the "alternative" - and thus exchange health advice for money. The assumption is that if we aren't associated with big pharma, our intentions must be pure; that alternative means unbiased by personal beliefs.
It's time to come clean.
Just because Naturopathic Medicine vies for longer with time with patient, does not mean that a patient can trust us. Trust comes from transparency.
I love love love the statement from Brandon Combs, an internist in Denver, after having committed to Total Transparency:
"This has brought me closer to my patients. The type of relationship I've developed - that's why I entered medicine."
You nailed it Dr. Wen. I bow down. This is how we do it. This is how we Change.