What is Health: The Community Membership?

Hi all,

So this is all very unorthodox isnt it…me..blogging mid-week!

I should explain myself. It is most likely a combination of exhaustion and declining brain function with euphoria at the fact that my 19 day stretch of hospitak shifts is coming to an end. However, I read an article in the British Medical Journal on the train this morning (well, I say reading but at 5.45 am I call it more like glazing over a blurred page as I try and stay awake long enough to get off at the right stop..) that just make me sit up and think….this is SO SO true.

And so, I wanted to share it with you. I hope the author doesnt mind me para-phrasing it but it here we go:

“What is health? Wendell Berry refers to health as membership. In other words, health is tied to our sense of connection to community. When disease disrupts the bonds of those connections, or requires that they are broken (as for the addict or victim of domestic violence), the doctor’s job is to ease and facilitate the patient’s transition. We are agents of change, from disease to health, from brokenness to a more connected, responsive and responsible whole.” (by Dr David Loxterkamp)

Forget the endless biomarkers of disease that distract us from our job as a doctor…

I, for one, want to be an agent for change – from disease to health.

That sits well with me and my soul.

Dr Nick



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