(Originally posted on Jan 22, 2021)
The irony of my life is, I have always viewed Health as the basis of the wellbeing of a society, but after completing medical school and working in the Public Health Sector for 5 years, I realised the 'Health' that was being taught and practiced is far from what is really needed. My thinking isn't unique; it forms part of the World Health Organisation's (WHO): Social Determinants of Health and Health Promotion strategies. These are global Public Health measures all focused on prevention. The most striking reality of all is, as a doctor, for every medical meeting we attend, the bottom line/ take home message is always the same, 'Prevention is Better than Cure".
BUT, how many physicians have the time and capacity to engage patients in Prevention? The era of writing a prescription, providing preventative measures and counselling a patient in 15 mins isn't sustainable for various reasons:
The causes of Premature Death due to Healthcare issues is only 10%, whereas Social and Behavioural Factors account for almost 60% of cases of Premature Death in the USA.
Stress-related Health Problems accounts for over 75% of cases in a Primary Care Setting (that is your GP or Health Centre Clinic)
There just isn't enough time for Primary Care Doctors/ GPs to explore Lifestyle Factors and Social Behaviours which actually contribute significantly to the burden of disease (this is due to patient load, costs and organisational pressures)
The burden of healthcare costs is very high and is projected to worsen if appropriate interventions are not taken
For the reasons listed above, I do not consider myself a GP or a Family Doctor despite having the qualifications to be called one. I left private practice in 2015 to research and work on building a more sustainable and rewarding practice. So if a title is needed, I would like to introduce myself:
I am Dr. Farah Ahmed, your Clinical Champion for Health and Wellness and for the Business World, your Corporate Medical Advisor.
As I see Wellbeing as the underpinning factor for a Healthy and Prosperous Society, my practice is multidimensional and far from the traditional approach to medical care. For passion and purpose and to practice what I preach, my aim is to bring a new 'light' to wellness. Having researched and trained in both Family and Occupational Medicine, the core of my belief lies in the evidence, and in creating crossovers to fill the current gaps that exist in Healthcare Systems globally.
Individual Wellness Consults cover the same steps as a traditional doctor's visit but explores your symptoms in a holistic manner, with management plans to help you along a long-term path to wellness beyond the physical.
These are new times, COVID 19 has taught us a great deal especially that innovation and creativity are now necessities to move forward, to build a world we all want to live in. Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion have created many non-medical specialists and wellness practitioners who are very much needed but the time has come for the trained Medical Doctors to step forward and use these interventions in creating sustainable, cost effective, whole system strategies that will improve lives individually and collectively. Many successful companies have ventured along this path and have had long term cost benefits by building a healthy and productive workforce.
Whether you are an individual who desires wellness or a C-Suite Manager with the vision to create the same for your business, Noor Corporate Health has the expertise and resilience to help in achieving your wellness goals. Reach out today, our international experts are here to support your success.
World Health Organization. Social Determinants of Health; http://www.who.int/social_determinants/en. Published 2018.
Schroeder SA. We can do better—improving the health of the American people. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(12):1221–8.
Lee J, Papa F, Jaini PA, Alpini S, Kenny T. An Epigenetics-Based, Lifestyle Medicine-Driven Approach to Stress Management for Primary Patient Care: Implications for Medical Education. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2019 May 9;14(3):294-303. doi: 10.1177/1559827619847436. PMID: 32477032; PMCID: PMC7232902.
Pawlecki, J. Brent MD, MMM; Burton, Wayne N. MD; Christensen, Cherryl DO, MS; Crighton, K. Andrew MD; Heron, Richard MB, ChB, FRCP; Hudson, T. Warner MD; Hymel, Pamela A. MD, MPH; Roomes, David FFOM, FACOEM ACOEM Corporate Medical Directors Section Task Force Role and Value of the Corporate Medical Director, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 5 - p e215-e226 doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001326