As a doctor, you know that medicine in general, let along the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine, is very complex. Not only are there complexities that patients need to navigate, physicians must navigate and manage an entirely different set of complexities.
Given this, navigating the complexities of regenerative medicine is ultimately about finding clarity, choice, and confidence.
- Clarity – In an age of medicine where the average amount of time spent with a physician is less than 8 minutes per visit, patients are unhappy and unsatisfied. In fact, patients no longer want to be treated only for symptoms; patients are demanding, more than ever before, that physicians treat the root causes of their patients’ ailments, maladies, or diseases. But patients are exposed to many “facts” and bits of both information and misinformation from the internet, family, friends, as well as medical professionals and insurance agents. How do they navigate this?
- Choice – Along with this, patients are smarter – or at least better informed – than they used to be. Patients know that there are potentially better options for treatments than has been traditionally available through a medical platform that really hasn’t changed much since the 1960s. Patients want to have a choice in what their treatment options may be
- Confidence – Patients want to spend time with, and get to know, their physician. More importantly, patients want their physician to get to know them. When a patient is actually able to make the time to schedule and keep an appointment with their physician, that patient wants their physician to understand exactly what’s going on and why they are there
The focus of regenerative medicine should be about making life better, either through cures (which is ideal) or the ongoing process of health management (which is most likely). Regenerative health management should focus on the process of finding therapies and treatments that give the body what it needs to heal itself. At the very least, the regenerative health management process gives the body a fighting chance to do what it can, or should, do through natural means. Some of these treatments are enhancing what is already there, some treatments are “jump starting” the body’s immune system, and some are actually regrowing tissue.
Focusing on the process is critical because it is likely that most patients will need multiple treatments and, in some cases, a lifetime of treatments. While this may not be optimal, it is a very realistic perspective.
How do patients navigate the complexities of regenerative medicine?
- Where do patients begin?
- How do they know what treatments to choose?
- How do they know which doctors to trust?
Navigating the complexities of regenrative medicine should focus on:
- a process that provides both a better experience and better outcomes
- individual care and attention – and this is just as, if not more, important after the treatment as it is before and during the treatment
- the development of a long-term patient-physician relationships
Helping patients navigate the complexities of regenerative medicine is helping them
- find clarity as they each work through the inconsistencies and incongruences of the diagnosis and treatment process
- guide, advise, and help each patient choose the treatment process that is best for their individual situation
- gain confidence in the specific treatment process they choose
In addition to helping their patients find a better quality of life, many physicians are looking for ways to better themselves, personally and professionally. As an alternative, many physicians are exploring the field of regenerative medicine, as much for economic reasons as for medical or scientific reasons. As such, they need
- to find clarity as they individually work through the inconsistencies and incongruences of the diagnosis, treatment, or business process
- a guide to help them choose the treatment or business process that is best for them
- to gain confidence in the specific treatment or business process they choose
How is this done? Before a physician can help a patient navigate the complexities of regenerative medicine, that physician must be trained to navigate the complexities of the business of regenerative medicine. This includes
- Training to become a specialist in regenerative medicine
- Knowledge and information management
- Providing the types of treatments that are acceptable with the proper “academic, regulatory, and political coverage”
- Marketing a regenerative medicine practice
- Materials to provide to patients
- Business set up, counseling, and advisement
- And many other concepts that apply to the economics, psychology, and behavioral sciences as well as the physical sciences.
If trained on the proper platform, the physician will not have to become an expert in either cell biology or psychology, but will be able to use their skills as a physician to impact the lives of their patients.