Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Internal Medicine can be traced back to its earliest origins in China, India, and the Middle East. However, its shape and form, as we know it today, was brought to be in the West. Most notably, often referred to be the “Father of Medicine”, Hippocrates, still to this day, influences graduating doctors by his tenet of “First, do no harm”. In modern medicine, even for physicians, this can be difficult to translate. Since even a simple blood draw can result in some harm, it could be surmised that it would be impossible to treat any diseases if this tenet is accepted in its literal meaning. So, the modern translation really is “do harm only if the benefits of treatment outweigh the harm caused.” Unfortunately, given the complexity into which medicine has morphed into, it is, too often, difficult to calculate the risk reward benefit by patients.
The era of modern medicine we are living in is an exciting one, and can only be compared, historically, to the birth of the Renaissance. Just as the Renaissance brought forth the sharing of information between the greatest thinkers in Western Civilization by the invention of the printing press, the creation of the internet will do the same for medicine in our time. This means transformative technologies we are already seeing must also change how medicine is delivered – internal medicine must also evolve. It cannot stand idle as technology, best suited for its utilization, is subjugated to specialized fields not best suited for its delivery.
Unbeknownst to many patients, technology is already making it possible to treat many diseases through simple injections or through very minimally invasive procedures. The challenge that remains, as in any rapidly developing field, is how to separate the wheat from the chaff. So, who is best at making this determination. Will it be the primary care physician trained in internal medicine that knows the history of the patient; or the surgeon, trained in very invasive procedures; or the specialist, trained to focus on a specific anatomy? Today, a patient must ask themselves, is a gastric sleeve still a viable consideration for obesity? Is it necessary to undergo vein stripping for painful varicose veins? Is there any alternative to knee surgery if I have arthritis or damage to the meniscus? JHL is dedicated to answering and providing the most minimally invasive answers to these difficult questions.
Since its inception, from cell to bedside, JHL was founded in the belief that “Do no harm” must come first and foremost; and through knowledge, technology, clarity, and compassion, will provide the best and least invasive alternative to patients seeking to avoid surgery. Patients must have a place where these alternatives exist and know they can be efficiently referred to a specialist, when it is deemed a disease has progressed too far or is beyond the scope of minimally invasive technology. There has never been a more exciting time to grow older. “Old age should burn and rave at close of day.” So, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.
“Do not go gentle into that good night” (Paine, Journal Botteghe Oscure, 1947)
Dr. Janet H. Lee
Dr. Janet Lee is a strong advocate of preventative medicine, entrusting that health maintenance and quality of life are best achieved through lifestyle modifications, with medical intervention only as a last option. She spends a lot of her time counseling patients on healthy lifestyle choices, helping to develop good sustainable habits. Open minded to various types of medicine choices available, she feels internal medicine will be safest at bringing innovative therapies to practice.