During the first weekend of May, for the last 6 years the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, our national organization, sponsors a DC-FLI, DC federal Legislative Initiative. This is a weekend were naturopathic physicians come to learn about the legislative process of the house and senate.
We actually go to the members offices to bring attention to issues that affect our ability to provide care to our patients. Each year it is wonderful to get the opportunity to educate our law-makers and their staff on how naturopathic medicine improves the lives of our patients all over the country.
With President Obama’s healthcare initiatives receiving so much attention, it was an especially exciting time to talk about health. At the last IOM meeting on Capital Hill it was stated that there is a shortage of general care professionals in this country and many of these residencies and positions are not being filled or staffed.
This opened up a wonderful discussion for our profession since we are trained to fill those exact positions. Not only are naturopathic physicians trained in general care, we are always stressing the importance of prevention through education, lifestyle and behavioral change.
In many conventional medical models prevention really means early detection through screening. Of course we recommend early detection of disease, but naturopaths actually focus on preventative methods for many chronic diseases so we can lower the cost of health care by reducing the need for expensive interventions once the disease has progressed. Because of this unique perspective, we have coined the phrase primary prevention professionals. I like the phrase because it focuses on empowering patients to stay well and feel good about the choice to focus on prevention and quality of life. We will have to wait as see if the legislators like it too!
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.org
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.amazon.com or www.healthydaes.org
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