Modern medicine is founded on the principles of pathogenesis, the study of disease. Health, as a result, has been defined as the absence of disease. We have educated and practiced medicine for millennia paying heed to this physical reductionist model of health, as disease has largely been the consequence threats from our external environment-things like epidemics, famine, and war. However, following World War II we began to truly appreciate the disease processes of mental illness, and to this point, World Health Organization put forth a new definition in 1948. It espouses:
Health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being,
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
Despite its circular nature, as it still renders health a state, one that you are in or not; thus, defaulting to the absence or presences of disease, the WHO definition has served us in a significant way, in that, it appreciates our multidimensional nature, introduces the concept of well-being, and, most importantly, recognizes the shift in the type of diseases that pose the largest threat to our existence. The external environment is no longer our greatest threat…our internal environment is.
Today, over 80% illness is a direct or indirect consequence of our lifestyle choices. Instead of the diseases of infection, starvation, and injury, we are now dying of the dis-ease of multitasking, judgement, and over-consumption.
The studies of healthcare delivery science and the social determinants of health are creating the space for us to redefine health. Dr. Clark is a physician, educator and healthcare delivery scientist that provides consultative services for individuals and organizations seeking innovative approaches to health.
For more information, please Contact Dr. Clark.
Please see Events for Dr. Clark’s upcoming speaking engagements.
- Healthcare Delivery Science
- Healthcare Economics
- Quality & Safety
- Medical Staff Governance
- Continuous Improvement
- Honor the worker
- “In God we trust … and all others must bring data” – E Deming
- Eliminate Waste
- Social Determinants of Health
- Patient and Clinician Experience
- Community and Health
- Integrative Practices