Dr Michael Ellis' Key Topics of Thought

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Dr Michael Ellis is a medical doctor with more than 20 years’ experience. He has higher qualifications in general medicine and paediatrics, holds an Honours Degree in Literature, Arts, Philosophy and Social Psychology and has naturopathic qualifications. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Michael takes a holistic approach to healthcare, with a special interest in mind/ body medicine and in optimizing the physical, mental and emotional health of the patient.

MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazledine interviewed Michael to get a better understanding of his somewhat controversial, but interesting ideas on how the medical system works. Michael believes care and compassion should be put back at the heart of what we do – instead of the economically-driven system we have now.

You can listen to the full podcast here {LINK: to podcast}. Don’t have time? Below are some of the key topics Michael and Sam discussed.

 

1/ Doctors are on a conveyor belt

“I've been in general practice a long, long time and I realize from the very start I was a purveyor of pharmaceutical drugs and chemicals. And as a person I wasn't respected and I was pushed around by the system […] It is still happening in larger medical groups and clinics in Australia where doctors are really slaves on a treadmill, they are just meant to get through a many patients as possible.”

Michael describes both patients and doctors being pushed around by the system. The way we are being as doctors is affecting our own health and is not an effective way of caring for our patients.

 

2/ Doctors need more time to be compassionate  

The ‘conveyor belt’ system leaves doctors burnt out and with little time (or energy) left to truly care for their patients.

“Even though [doctors] want to be compassionate and loving and caring to themselves and others, it falls by the wayside when you've got some schedule to keep […]

“Often patients are pushed around, they are given the essential, quick treatment, diagnosis and the acute medical treatment which is so important. But then they are pushed out again and there is no real concern about the person, about their lives, about their wellbeing,” says Michael.

Michael suggests that patients are therefore more likely to need more care in the future, because doctors don’t have time to care for their patients in a holistic sense.

 

3/ Be proactive about change

Pushing back against a system which prioritises economics over patients and schedules over care is difficult. But it only takes a few proactive individuals to start that change. Michael says that General Practice is a good place to start.

“We need to be proactive regarding health and wellness, we need to look at the problems that GPs face within the context of a changing medical system, and enhance their wellbeing, and understand their problems, as well as understand that they are the primary interface, they are the ones that coordinate and enhance and create conversions within the system.”

 

4/ We need to bring humanity back into the medical profession

“[D]octors are seen as the great specialist, the great people, the ‘patriarchal’ figures and the patients are like the diseases, they are dealt with efficiently but they are not looked upon in terms of real human beings. And I think that the reason is because doctors don't look upon themselves as human beings and that's the reason for stress.”

This is something we’ve explored before on the MedWorld blog. Stress causes depersonalisation and effects the way we interact with our patients. We begin to see patients as an interruption to our day, rather than the meaning of our work.

It’s why MedWorld started the Whole Life Health workshops to help doctors take care of their health and wellbeing, so they can be exceptional doctors.

 

You can find more information on doctor health and wellbeing on Dr Michael Ellis’ website called ‘The Medical Renaissance’. Dr Sam Hazledine has also written a book on the eight steps towards better health and wellbeing for doctors; Medicine’s Four Minute Mile 

headshot_michael_ellis.png

Dr Michael Ellis is a medical doctor with more than 20 years’ experience. He has higher qualifications in general medicine and paediatrics, holds an Honours Degree in Literature, Arts, Philosophy and Social Psychology and has naturopathic qualifications. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Michael takes a holistic approach to healthcare, with a special interest in mind/ body medicine and in optimizing the physical, mental and emotional health of the patient.

MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazledine interviewed Michael to get a better understanding of his somewhat controversial, but interesting ideas on how the medical system works. Michael believes care and compassion should be put back at the heart of what we do – instead of the economically-driven system we have now.

You can listen to the full podcast here {LINK: to podcast}. Don’t have time? Below are some of the key topics Michael and Sam discussed.

 

1/ Doctors are on a conveyor belt

“I've been in general practice a long, long time and I realize from the very start I was a purveyor of pharmaceutical drugs and chemicals. And as a person I wasn't respected and I was pushed around by the system […] It is still happening in larger medical groups and clinics in Australia where doctors are really slaves on a treadmill, they are just meant to get through a many patients as possible.”

Michael describes both patients and doctors being pushed around by the system. The way we are being as doctors is affecting our own health and is not an effective way of caring for our patients.

 

2/ Doctors need more time to be compassionate  

The ‘conveyor belt’ system leaves doctors burnt out and with little time (or energy) left to truly care for their patients.

“Even though [doctors] want to be compassionate and loving and caring to themselves and others, it falls by the wayside when you've got some schedule to keep […]

“Often patients are pushed around, they are given the essential, quick treatment, diagnosis and the acute medical treatment which is so important. But then they are pushed out again and there is no real concern about the person, about their lives, about their wellbeing,” says Michael.

Michael suggests that patients are therefore more likely to need more care in the future, because doctors don’t have time to care for their patients in a holistic sense.

 

3/ Be proactive about change

Pushing back against a system which prioritises economics over patients and schedules over care is difficult. But it only takes a few proactive individuals to start that change. Michael says that General Practice is a good place to start.

“We need to be proactive regarding health and wellness, we need to look at the problems that GPs face within the context of a changing medical system, and enhance their wellbeing, and understand their problems, as well as understand that they are the primary interface, they are the ones that coordinate and enhance and create conversions within the system.”

 

4/ We need to bring humanity back into the medical profession

“[D]octors are seen as the great specialist, the great people, the ‘patriarchal’ figures and the patients are like the diseases, they are dealt with efficiently but they are not looked upon in terms of real human beings. And I think that the reason is because doctors don't look upon themselves as human beings and that's the reason for stress.”

This is something we’ve explored before on the MedWorld blog. Stress causes depersonalisation and effects the way we interact with our patients. We begin to see patients as an interruption to our day, rather than the meaning of our work.

It’s why MedWorld started the Whole Life Health workshops to help doctors take care of their health and wellbeing, so they can be exceptional doctors.

 

You can find more information on doctor health and wellbeing on Dr Michael Ellis’ website called ‘The Medical Renaissance’. Dr Sam Hazledine has also written a book on the eight steps towards better health and wellbeing for doctors; Medicine’s Four Minute Mile 

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