Allopathy

Allopathy, also known as allopathic medicine, is a term used to refer to the system of therapeutics in which diseases are treated by introducing a new condition that is incompatible with or antagonistic to the illness being treated. This is where the word allopathy comes from: allo = alternate + pathy = disease. So, for example, drugs that induce low blood pressure are used to treat high blood pressure.

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Reductionism

Coming later in 2013. We're busy preparing to be certified as an Advanced Primary Care Practice this summer! Go to Organizational News to learn more.

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Evidence-Based Medicine

According to Dr. David Sackett, a pioneer in the field of evidence-based medicine (EBM), EBM is "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient." (Sackett D, 1996). This means that your doctors examine the best medical research available and consider the results in light of what they already know so that they canidentify treatment option(s) that are most likely to succeed at alleviating your suffering.

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Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice (EBP),a further refinement of EBM (see above) refers to the practice of explicitly integrating (1) best research evidence, (2) clinical expertise and (3) patient values in the decision-making process for patient care. The integration of patient values refers to the thoughtful and thorough consideration of your needs and preferences as part of a comprehensive approach to medical decision-making.

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Integral EBP

While current descriptions of EBP explicitly incorporate patient values, they fail to acknowledge the roles that clinician and researcher values play in the process. That is, your clinician views your situation through the lens of has his or her personal values. In fact, his or her choice of a particular type of medical training -- the source of his or her expertise -- was based upon his or her personal values! Similarly, the values (bias) of medical researchers profoundly affect their research. For example, they affect what they choose to study, how they are going to study it, how they are going to manipulate it and how they will interpret the results. In fact, the body of available research is significantly limited by researcher (as well as funding) bias. In integral medical praxis, both clinician and researcher values are explicitly integrated in the EBP process. This results in a 5-variable model: (1) best evidence, (2) clinical expertise, (3)patient values, (4) clinician values, (5) researcher values.

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Evidence-Based Guidelines

Evidence-based guidelines (EBG) are published recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various medical conditions. EBG use systematic reviews of the available research to identify diagnosis and treatment strategies most likely to achieve desired clinical results. They are prepared according to specific criteria designed to guarantee (as much as possible) their reliability and accuracy. As a result, government and third-party payers are increasingly using EBG to guide reimbursement decisions. This means that the people who pay for health care are more likely to pay for interventions justified by good quality evidence than for interventions lacking such evidence.

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With our thoughts we make the world.

The Dhammapada

 

Evidence-based medicine is the quintessential example of this ancient Buddhist teaching in modern medicine today. EBM takes observable findings from experimental studies, designed to validate (or not) hypotheses which we have invented with our minds (thoughts), and then interprets them with the same mind (new thoughts extrapolated from observations of phenonmena selected according to criteria based upon previous thoughts), and then assigns significance to the interpretations (creating an even "higher" level of thought), which are then used as the basis for a new perception or interpretation (thought) of what is important in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Evidenced-based medicine can point us in directions that we have already imagined, but it cannot explain that which is beyond thought, nor can it account for that which cannot be observed. It is to be respected and appreciated, to be sure, as a tool to help us alleviate human suffering, but it should also recognized for what it is -- a series of thoughts, each dependent upon another. This is, of course, why, over time, various scientific proofs, accepted as truth at one time in history, are later disproved, or found to be only partially true, at a later point in time.

Thinking is a risky business -- it is one of our greatest assets, but it is also one of our greatest vulnerabilities.

dr. ani hawkinson 2012