Slow Medicine

Like the Slow Food movement, the Slow Medicine movement urges care and touch, rather than speed and technology. But can Slow Medicine win out in the modern healthcare world?

The slow food movement started in Italy in 1983. It’s a way of saying “no” to the rise of fast food and fast life. Slow Food means living an unhurried life, taking time to enjoy simple pleasures, starting at the table.

Slow entrepreneurship happens at the Good Work Institute. While entrepreneurs are encouraged to tackle big ideas, they are trained to slow down their acceleration curve and focus on what's important and sustainability before growth. They are decelerators. They teach entrepreneurs to slow down.

The movement seems to be spreading to the delivery of medical care. BIG MEDICINE is challenging small medicine and BIG MEDICINE is usually about faster, not slower; standardized, not personalized; and high-tech, not high-touch. Listen to this doctor's story:

Slow medicine has appeal for many reasons:

1. It provides a way for doctors to reconnect with being a doctor .

2. It slows thinks down and minimizes as much as possible non-value added adminstrivia.

3. It helps doctors reconnect with their patients and gives them time to get more information that might lead

to fewer diagnostic and medical errors.

4. It is a cure for burnout.

5. It satisfies a market demand from patients who are fed up with assembly line medicine

6. It allows small business physician entrepreneurs to control the slope of their growth curve according to their particular financial goals.

7. It restores balance between the art of medicine and the business of medicine.

8. It provides some relief for debt burdened new practitioners.

9. It conforms to an evolving democratized ethos of the practice of medicine, incorporating shared decision making and interdisciplinary therapeutic interventions.

10. It is a big business opportunity, particularly for those who can provide business process outsourcing for small- to medium-sized practices looking for better, cheaper, and easier-to-use health information systems, revenue cycle management and patient experience improvement platforms, and other digital health interventions.

Slow medicine will be another alternative to fast medicine. Unlike investor driven technopreneurs who have to scale quickly, SME (small- to medium-size) medical practice entrepreneurs can pick their own pace. Unfortunately, given the increasing demand for sick care, it remains to be seen whether the model can be widely deployed or becomes just another part of 1% care.

After all, the last time I sat on the Spanish Steps in Rome, the McDonald's across the street was packed.