We Spend a significant amount of time as doctors monitoring for adverse outcomes.
We use the absence of disease as an indicator of health.
But the mere absence of disease is not enough to proclaim good health.
If we only monitor for the absence of disease, we miss the things that are most important in our patients’ daily lives.
The things I’ve found to be most important in my life, and often lacking in my patient’s lives are…
Being happy, having a sense of purpose and meaning, and having good relationships which are sometimes ignored if overt signs and symptoms of disease are not present.
Being “well” is a state of complete mental, physical, and social wellbeing.
Having a purpose in life is associated with reduced mortality risk, so is life satisfaction. Things like loneliness and social isolation are associated with increased mortality.
When these needs are met people not only live longer but they live with intention.
Let’s Look beyond the absence disease