Though we all believe in preventive medicine, much of health care is problem-focused. Patients present to the clinic or hospital with their problems. We take their histories, and we create a differential diagnosis as we examine, investigate and treat their conditions.
I practice traditional evidence-based medicine but with every patient encounter, I seek something extra: the positive potential for this individual.
A patient may come in with a persistent cough or symptoms suggestive of heart disease. In the course of investigating and treating that patient, I may seize the opportunity to help him take control of his own health by quitting smoking, eating sensibly and becoming more informed and engaged in his own condition.
A patient may present with depression after losing her job. This could be an opportunity for her to look at her unique talents and passions and consider how she can use them to meet the needs of the world – in other words, find her calling and pursue a vocation that will ultimately bring her greater happiness.
Outside of my calling as a physician, I am also looking for opportunities to help and support the people I meet throughout the day. Though it may seem easier to hold back, I recognize it as my duty as another human being to do what I can with what I have to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Each of us is gifted with unique talents and passions. All of us share a tremendous capacity to help others in need. We can each discover greater depths of fulfillment by actualizing our potential to make a difference with the people we meet today. We can experience greater happiness ourselves when we create happiness for others.
As you go about your day, ask “What is the potential of this day, and how can I make a positive difference in someone else’s life?” The measure of the day may not be how much you accomplished for yourself but rather what you did for others.