More on the Art of “Slow” Medicine

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And … Slow Dentistry, too!

By Ann Miller RN MHA

[ME-P Executive-Director]


We don’t know exactly when, but the practice of medicine has morphed into the delivery of health care.

Of course, if healthcare has become big business, we at the ME-P through our publication, text and handbooks, advertisers and sponsors, as well as speaking and consulting engagements may be partially to blame. But, hopefully not to the extreme it has become in some cases.

For example, did you know that Medicare has a CPT® medical payment code for a ten minute “treadmill” office visit?

God’s Hotel – The Book

So, if you aren’t sure – or are too young to know – of what’s happening today, the new book “God’s Hotel” is for you. It’s an engaging book by Dr. Victoria Sweet, a general internist from Laguna Honda Hospital that chronicles her perspectives from the last almshouse in the United States.

IOW: She is off the insurance grid and has discovered a way to benefit patients, not necessarily medical providers, by practicing something called “slow” medicine.

THINK: Marcus Welby MD

Slow Dentistry

Of course, our own ME-P investigative reporter Darrell K. Pruitt DDS, has been commenting and opining on this issue vis-a-vie the dental insurance industry treadmill of “fast” production line oral care.

For example, he often asks his colleagues: Are you fed up with successfully doing intricate handwork to exacting tolerances in mouths of anxious patients and then having to fight to get the patients’ insurance company to pay what they rightfully owe THEIR CLIENT.

IOW: Working faster and faster, for less and less compensation.


“God’s Hotel”: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine


More from the ME-P: The Emerging Discipline of “Slow Medicine” and Professional Liability


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4 Responses

  1. Small practices – better, personalized care

    “Do Small Practices Provide Better Patient Care? – Small Practices Do Many Things Well. Just when small primary care practices seemed headed for the dust heap, recent studies are saying ‘not so fast.’ Large practices, with their phalanxes of employed physicians, are rapidly becoming the norm, but the research suggests that small practices offer a viable alternative and can even produce better clinical outcomes.” By Leigh Page for Medscape, November 19, 2014.

    “’When you work closely with patients and empower them, they are going to make better choices,’ said Craig C. Koniver, MD, a solo family physician in North Charleston, South Carolina. He said a team of caregivers at a large practice will not have the same impact, because none of them are as close to the patient as he is.”

    Page continues, “A study in the August issue of Health Affairs seems to bear this out. Focusing only on small primary care practices—those with fewer than 20 physicians—researchers looked at ‘ambulatory care-sensitive admission rates,’ covering such conditions as congestive heart failure, which can be prevented by high-quality primary care. The study found that practices with 1 to 2 physicians had ambulatory care-sensitive admission rates fully 33% lower than practices with 10 to 19 physicians.”

    Don’t you imagine that the same is true for dentistry?

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS



    Here are the “10 pillars” on which Slow Medicine Nederland is based.

    Slow medicine – medicine for a healthy life – The 10 fundamentals of Slow Medicine

    1. Time
    Time to listen, understand, time for reflection, consultation and
    emotional support. More time delivers better, more informed decisions.

    2. Personal
    Tailored care, appropriate care, equal care. Individualization rather than generalization – Putting the patient first.

    3. Promoting autonomy and self-direction
    Shared decision making, taking into account values, expectations and preferences. Coordination, and conversation with the patient, family and their environment.

    4. Positive Health
    More than merely focusing on disease, slow medicine includes the new concept of “positive health” (Huber), stressing resilience, self-control (autonomy) and basic health skills such as prevention, health promotion and preparation for illness and mortality.

    5. Prevention is better than cure.

    Prevention, the role of a healthy diet, exercise and positive thoughts.

    6. Comfort and quality of life
    Palliation, quality of life, enlightenment, while facing the inevitable and letting go when needed. More is not always better.

    7. Integration of care
    Offer the best of conventional and alternative care

    8. Safety first and do not harm
    Primum non nocere / first do not harm and abstain from loss / in doubt, forgo treatment. No unnecessary medical intervention. No metaphors assuming battle or war (such as the war against cancer and bacteria), but rather metaphors of restoration and balance.

    9. Passion and compassion
    Several groups such as Platform ECG and Compassion for Care want to
    bring back the notions of compassion and passion in care. Too much attention to rules and control exert a negative effect on care. em>

    10. Technology
    On a people-friendly scale, using new techniques to promote patient autonomy and the objectives of slow medicine


    Dick Koster and Dr. Yung Lie.

    Time, autonomy, positive health prevention Personal Comfort and quality of life made Integral to medicine More is not always better. First do not harm. Patient-friendly technology

    Slow Medicine is an innovative healthcare concept. The intention of the movement as well as the institute is to promote Slow Medicine in a broad sense, staying true to the concept and the 10 pillars. We are in discussion with key figures in healthcare and science to develop the concept and to ensure a strong brand. Slow Medicine International Congress meets on March 18, 2015, seeking chair and/or lectureship positions in Slow Medicine.

    Slow medicine is not meant to be a buzzword. (I don’t know of a succinct translation of “containerbegrip,” but it means an understanding without sharply defined meaning. “Buzzword” is as close as I can come. The word “thing” is an example of a containerbegrip). Protect understanding of Slow Medicine through copyright by Slow Medicine Institute. Success will come by working together and sharing the growing concept. Cooperation is not optional.

    The objective of Slow Medicine is to endorse and promote the concept! Using the Slow Medicine label (free of charge for non-commercial purposes, subject to approval Slow Medicine Institute Netherlands). Financial support is necessary for the conference, research group or general organizational support. Ask what Slow Medicine can do for you and what you can do for slow medicine! (JFK is still loved in western Europe).

    We are Slow Medicine Netherlands, the website , the slow medicine logo and the Slow Movement Medicine are part of the Slow Medicine Institute Netherlands (SMIN) and are led by Yung Lie and Dick Koster.

    The objective of the movement and the Institute is to promote and strengthen. Slow Medicine and the 10 pillars through information, education, research and international cooperation.

    The Slow Medicine Institute Netherlands (SMIN) was founded in 2014 by Dick Koster, GP and entrepreneur Yung Lie, PhD, Institute of Social Innovation, and has the following components: Slow Medicine Academy: Education Slow Medicine Scientific Institute: Research Slow Medicine franchise and services BV io Slow Medicine International !! ! New Energy Unit 12 3rd Binnenvestgracht 23 2312 NR 071 Leiden 18,890,174

    Darrell K. Pruitt DDS


  3. FAST Medicine

    Hope Hetico RN MHA



    By Anonymous Patient

    I had a horrible experience with previous dentist numbing my gum. In his rush, he hit a nerve and I lost feeling in part of my mouth for too long. He was very casual about it. .. time to change dentists!

    So, I ooked online, and found Dr. Pruitt. He had great reviews, and I loved the attitude of “Dentistry Unhurried.” I called and set up an appointment. He was kind & considerate, definitely not in a rush. I had to have a root canal around that time, & having never had one, thought of the old saying “it was like having a root canal, it was so bad!”

    Well, I’m here to tell you, the root canal was as easy as any other procedure I’ve had with Dr. Pruitt, never really any pain, and always taking whatever time needed to take care of his patient’s right! His prices are reasonable, and his facilities are not “like a spa”, but are professional.

    And, I like the personal touch of his drawings on display! I’m thankful for finding Dr. Pruitt to care for my husband & I, and appreciate all of the great staff he has. It means a LOT to have someone who truly cares about their patients.

    Thank you, Dr. Pruitt!


    It is our daily commitment to perform our very best intricate handwork in sensitive mouths, gently. Attention to detail while at the same time respecting patients’ comfort simply takes more time than some dentists can afford to give. We put the patients’ needs first.

    Darrell Pruitt DDS


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