Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Jordan Conference Center Auditorium
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Topic: SLOW MEDICINE, FAST MEDICINE: TAKING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Victoria Sweet, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and author, God’s Hotel, San Francisco CA
When Dr. Victoria Sweet returned to school to pursue a Ph.D. in the history of medicine, she also went to work at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital, the last almshouse in the United States, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu (God’s Hotel), where the sick received care in the Middle Ages. Laguna Honda provides the site for Dr. Sweet's prize-winning book, God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine, in which she weaves together premodern medicine, as exemplified in the 12th century Latin writings of Hildegard of Bingen; her own clinical stories, the politics of modern health care, and the pilgrimage she walked to Santiago de Compostela.
In this Medical Center Hour, Dr. Sweet offers evidence—in stories of her patients and her hospital—for some radically new ideas about medicine and health care. Have our attempts to control health care costs by privileging "efficiency" headed us down a wrong path? Might medicine work best—that is, arrive at the right diagnosis and the right treatment for the least money—when it is personal and face-to-face, when the doctor has enough time to do a good job, and when she pays attention not only to the patient but also to what is around the patient? Dr. Sweet calls this approach “Slow Medicine” and believes that its practice would be both better and more satisfying for patients and doctors alike and also less costly.