About Slow Medicine

Because it was off-the-radar, over the hill to the poorhouse, God’s Hotel (Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco) allowed Dr. Sweet to learn and then to practice what she now calls Slow Medicine—as opposed to Fast Medicine, just like Slow Food is opposed to Fast Food.

Slow Medicine is just taking the time: to talk to and examine and even re-examine a patient; to call other doctors; to go over lab tests and X-rays; to think about and muse over a diagnosis; to discontinue medications that are, perhaps, no longer needed; to try a new medication—but carefully.

She writes about Slow Medicine in God’s Hotel  but she hasn’t yet written anything specifically for other doctors. Most experienced doctors already know about it, although not under that name. Who doesn’t know about it, is everyone else. Well, our great-grandmothers knew about it.

The thing is that the only way to really explain Slow Medicine is to show it, to do it, and that is why Dr. Sweet hopes to create some setting—an Ecomedicine Unit or a Second Opinion Clinic—where Slow Medicine can be systematically practiced, taught, and studied.

For a bit more, see the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/04/25/should-a-doctor-be-like-a-gardener/?mod=google_news_blog