The newest model of medicine features a powerful therapeutic partnership with the physician and patient at its core. The community is invited to a free lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, at Bridgeville library, featuring Uday Jani, MD, who will discuss how highly individualized care aligns with the therapies used in integrative medicine to offer a patient-centered approach to health and healing.
As genetics testing and pharmacogenomics create a uniquely personalized form of medicine, fully understanding all aspects of a patient - social, cultural, psychological and spiritual - becomes increasingly critical to delivering the best care.
"The more medicine advances and evolves, the more evidence points to the truth that a cookie-cutter approach does not work," says Jani. "In fact, it's never worked, which is why, as a nation, we've become fatter and sicker. Every person is different, requiring a singular, focused approach to their care."
The first remedy is not always a pharmaceutical one, he asserts. Instead, the model of integrative medicine emphasizes the broader concepts of health promotion and preventive care while supporting the appropriate treatment of disease. All therapies are considered, both conventional and alternative, to facilitate the body's innate healing response. Jani says the key to this approach is having the time to form an exceptionally powerful patient-physician connection not usually possible to achieve in a traditional practice.
"When I was rushing from patient to patient, perpetually behind, there was no time to focus on the whole patient," he said. "All you can do is say 'What's the problem? Here is a pill.' That's been the philosophy for so long that I knew I couldn't change the system, but I could change the way I practice medicine and give care to my patients."
He's seen the results of this approach at his Shore View practice in Lewes, where he focuses on prevention and wellness by combining the tenets of integrative, functional and personalized medicine. "It's about sitting with a patient and saying, 'Let's talk about your problem and how we are going to work together to treat it.' Because if I am going to just tell a patient what to do, it's not at all effective. I need to understand all the causes behind the symptoms, and collaborate with the patient on a solution for long-term wellness that suits their individual lifestyle."
Consider the personalized and integrative method of treating diabetes. "We go deep down to discover why a patient gets diabetes. You're born with certain genes, exposed to certain toxins, developed your own lifestyle patterns with specific foods and medications - all this came together resulting in a diagnosis of diabetes because you have high sugars. So instead of simply giving a pill, we identify and then treat the underlying causes to bring down the high sugar levels that are at the root of your diabetes," Jani said.
It's an effective approach to managing many chronic disease states, going beyond just treating symptoms to actually preventing illness. The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine says, "Health is more than the absence of disease. Health also means vitality, joy, and wholeness."
Jani is a board-certified internist and completed a two-year integrative medicine fellowship at the University of Arizona, taught by Dr. Andrew Weil, the renowned founder of integrative medicine. Jani is in private practice at Shore View Personal Care, where he blends the best of traditional, integrative and functional medicine. For more information, call 302-684-0990 or go to www.udayjanimd.com.