9Chapter The Four Pillars and Two Guideposts for the Healing Professions™
It often is said that the practice of medicine is as much an art as a science. To meet the needs of twenty-first century healthcare, medical schools must shepherd students through their education in a manner that will prepare them to accept fully the mantle of responsibility that the title Doctor of Medicine confers, which today involves far more than the mastery of scientific principles. Yes, medical education must provide a solid foundation in the basic and clinical sciences. However, that foundation is no longer sufficient to be a competent and effective doctor. Increasingly, patients are looking for physicians who are willing to address all aspects of the tapestry of healing: the body, the mind, the emotions, and the spirit. While curricula for medical schools have never been static (i.e., as transitions in science, policy, and patient needs occur, education curricula adjust), it is my contention that the time has come to institute a comprehensive transformation in medical education, reforming it both to incorporate the critical needs of the global medical community and to institute a vital advancement in the theory and practice of healthcare-reinstating the art and heart of medicine.