Women’s clinic internship, lessons in herbal medicine and integrative medicine.
My first internship was at a women’s clinic, studying with a doctor who specialized in the treatment of women’s health concerns with herbal medicine. Dr. Hao is a bit of a medical diva because of her reputation, knowledge, and charisma; and people would visit her in droves. She was pretty classy, her cell phone had an Armani case, and it played opera when people were calling her. Every day that we arrived at the clinic, her waiting room was packed with patients awaiting her to help them out. People would line up on a first come/first serve basis, and she would take only 5-15 minutes to interview the patient, read their pulse, and record their herbal prescription in their records. She would treat at least 50 people each day during our 6 hour shifts, and I would frantically write down the herbal formulas as our translator was explaining them to us. I filled up a few notebooks with her prescriptions and diagnoses. Dr. Hao would see patients of all ages for their health concerns, and sometimes their husbands if they were working on infertility or were having trouble conceiving a child. Someday, I hope to have some time to create a notebook to share with other practitioners who would like to learn more about herbal treatment for women’s health.
Studying with Dr. Hao was my first lesson in China on the benefits of integrative medicine. Dr. Hao was an expert in herbal medicine, but she also had much experience with Western modalities and diagnostics. For example, if the patient had something going on that would be further clarified with an ultrasound, Dr. Hao would write a prescription for one, the patient would walk down the hall and get the ultrasound, and bring the results back for Dr. Hao’s analysis within the hour. This led to a more accurate diagnosis and more effective treatment overall. No having to make more appointments, losing valuable treatment time for the person suffering from the problem. Dr. Hao would also prescribe antibiotics or other medication if needed, but herbs seemed to be the primary approach for the patients’ complaints. She would also occasionally order a blood test for analysis. Fusing all necessary and available treatments and diagnostic techniques truly maximizes patient outcomes. Why not give the best of all that is available to a suffering patient, and make the most of their health potential?
I learned a lot about integrative medicine at that clinic. Later, after my trip to Beijing, I learned about it from the other side…as a patient. Ack. I’ll share about that later.
Thanks again for looking, take care,