The year 2020 will go down in history as an extraordinary year for all of us. In fact, this year will likely be remembered as the biggest experiment ever done on mankind. For many years to come, researchers will examine how societal norms, human behavior, medications, and underlying conditions affected not only COVID-19 outcomes, but a host of ancillary illnesses. We are likely to see studies on depression in adolescents, domestic violence, elder neglect, and failure to adhere to medical advice. What we are unlikely to see is research on the effect of wellbeing on COVID outcomes. To accomplish this task, health care providers will need to monitor their patients in real time and see how primary root cause issues can profoundly alter the course of illness.
I believe we will notice that the trajectory of health or disease can be markedly improved by simple and low-cost measures, or conversely, neglect of wellbeing can result in adverse outcomes. Never has the disparity of lifestyle, nutrition and stress been so readily apparent to the world, especially to us as health care practitioners. This comes at a time when physician burnout is at an all-time high and navigating how to practice good medicine in these unusual times can be extremely difficult.
Yet, amidst all this noise you will see a simple truth: factors that influence wellbeing can profoundly influence health outcomes. While the world waits for vaccines and medications, addressing innate immunity with lifestyle medicine such as: stress coping techniques, exercise, a safe and healthy living environment, a nutritious diet and nutritional supplements can help reduce infections, lower morbidity from other illnesses, and provide patients better coping mechanisms to handle the new challenges they face daily.
In fact there has never been a better time to help our patients refocus from a pill-for-every-ill mentality and move toward an understanding that promoting health and wellbeing is a sane, cost-effective mechanism to develop resilience, while simultaneously reducing and mitigating illness.
The WellMatrix Program offers practitioners an easy-to-implement wellness program. The program provides the health care provider a step-by-step approach to building a strong practice focused on wellbeing and disease resilience. And now included with the WellMatrix Program is FREE access to our new Onboarding Portal to help seamlessly transition to a practice of patients who are eager to improve their wellbeing and build disease resilience.
Imagine a waiting room full of wellness focused patients while reducing your stress of a disease-oriented practice. Happy, satisfied patients can not only reduce practice stress but can also translate to an improved bottom line.
So, let 2021 be a harbinger of a new and better way to practice medicine. As you set your goals for 2021, place wellness for you and your patients at the top of the list. The benefit will become readily apparent!
Steve Amoils is the Co-Medical Director of the Alliance Integrative Medicine (AIM) in Cincinnati, together with his wife Sandi Amoils, MD. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Cincinnati and President of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, and has been practicing Functional Medicine since 2000. He has received numerous awards for his achievements, including America’s Top Doctor in Family Medicine and Cincy Top Doctor yearly since 2007.
Trained in South Africa, London, and then in the United States, Steve is a board-certified family physician. After completing medical training in South Africa in 1984, he and Sandi spent two years traveling around the world, studying various indigenous medical systems. In 1987 they immigrated to the US, where they ultimately both practiced as family physicians in Cincinnati. In 1999, at the behest of a large hospital group, they opened Alliance Integrative Medicine to offer patients a comprehensive, personalized, integrative approach to medicine. AIM has been recognized nationally as a leading center in integrative medicine since 2004, and Dr. Amoils has been a site investigator on three major national studies on integrative medicine. AIM averages approximately 30,000 patient visits per year. Alliance Integrative Medicine offers an accredited physician fellowship training program in integrative medicine.
Through the nonprofit Integrative Medicine Foundation, the Amoils are active in research, education and overseeing the Get Well program for the underserved.
Steve and Sandi are co-authors of Get Well & Stay Well – Optimal Health through Transformational Medicine. The book expounds on their philosophy of helping patients transform illness into wellness through the best of conventional medicine, functional medicine and integrative therapeutic options.