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Positive medicine: The four pillars of wellbeing

Positive medicine: The four pillars of wellbeing

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'Positive medicine – an abundance model of healthcare’ - training staff and patients in a new wellbeing paradigm

Those of us who call ourselves modern and enlightened healthcare workers often use words and phrases such as ‘patient-centred care’ and ‘partnership’ when describing best practice. However, the uncomfortable truth is that much of how we consult with and treat patients remains stuck in the hierarchical doctor-patient power dynamic model, with the doctor at the top.

We at Family Doctors are embarking on a revolutionary, disruptive, and perhaps new model of engaging with patients, which, if I am honest, is not new – it is embedded in ancient thinking and many indigenous cultures – we in the modern, enlightened west are realising the thin, flavourless nature of our tonics and how much we need to rediscover the rich full-flavour of such traditional thinking.

The Four Pillars of Wellbeing are The Physical, The Psychological, The Emotional and The Spiritual. Rather than feeling a victim of circumstances outside of their control, patients are empowered, using the framing of the four pillars of wellbeing, to move this external locus of control into an internal locus – to become the project manager of their own lives – because we all have the tools and capacity to do this.

In an exciting journey of discovery, design and implementation, a team of Family Doctors healthcare workers and patients are exploring how to bring this Four Pillars model of wellbeing into general practice – in a way that is meaningful for all and with better health outcomes.