‘Slow Medicine’ at GetzWell

From day one, GetzWell’s mission has been to bring mindfulness back to medical care. Our approach is very much aligned with the ‘Slow Medicine’ movement which, like the Slow Food movement, is gaining momentum in the US. In a multi-part series, we’ll offer you an overview of GetzWell’s slow and steady methodology and why we believe it’s a vast improvement over traditional pediatric care.

What is Slow Medicine?

The Slow Medicine movement is a response from members of the medical community who, like us, see inadequacies in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of mainstream healthcare. The current health care system, coined ‘Fast Medicine,’ is governed by a revolving-door approach that churns out as many patients as possible in the least amount of time. This type of ‘care’ is typically hurried, costly, impersonal, procedure-focused and prescription-driven. It can lead to unnecessary treatments and ill-informed diagnoses which may put patients at risk.

In a nutshell, Slow Medicine, as defined by physicians Pieter Cohen, and Michael Hochman, ’emphasizes thoughtful clinical reasoning, evidence based practice, and the importance of lifestyle changes for improving health.’ This approach brings the focus back to the patient, allowing for thorough evaluations and customized care plans to optimize overall well-being. (For more on the evolution of Slow Medicine, check out this recent NPR post, If Slow Is Good For Food, Why Not Medicine?)

How does GetzWell fit into this Slow Medicine scene?

The quality of care we deliver at GetzWell starts with the relationships we build with families. Our visits typically last 3-4 times longer than traditional practices and we actively listen, explore parents’ questions, provide lots of education, and really partner with moms and dad to help nurture a strong foundation for a healthy life.

Our approach combines the best of conventional and complementary medicine, addressing not only physical symptoms but also psychological, social, environmental, and emotional aspects of health and illness. We cultivate personalized care that addresses a child’s unique needs and makeup.

The more we get to know and understand the families that come to us, the greater the opportunity we have to practice preventive medicine and treat root causes rather than suppressing symptoms in the ‘one ill one pill’ way that is typical of our current medical model. A powerful example of this is the many times we have been consulted by concerned parents when fast medicine doctors prescribe steroids for infants and children with eczema and/or asthma; at GetzWell, with our enhanced toolbox and belief in the innate human capacity for healing, in contrast to having just an Rx pad and 5-10 minutes with a patient, we create care plans using natural remedies and dietary modifications which eliminate the need for long term use of suppressive and sometimes dangerous prescription medications.

Personalized Care Works!

Everyday at GetzWell we witness the impact of slow medicine in the lives of the families we treat. To learn more about how you and your child may benefit from GetzWell’s approach to care, please give us a call – Church St.: 415.826.1701 / Union St.: 415.969.6670.

Stay Tuned for Part 2!

Part of the Slow Medicine approach is viewing the human body as a garden. In our next post, we’ll tell you more about this concept and how we do this at GetzWell.