August 28, 2013

Updates in Slow Medicine

Updates in Slow Medicine” began as a series of discussions about developments in clinical medicine among students, residents, and faculty at the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School.  These discussions led to regular email posts that  gained a following among graduates of the program, colleagues, and eventually physicians and thought leaders throughout the U.S.  A new term arose from these discussions — “Slow Medicine” — which, consistent with the broader “Slow Movement”, emphasizes thoughtful clinical reasoning, evidence based practice, and the importance of lifestyle changes for improving health.  We have further refined our definition of Slow Medicine as:

The practice of medicine in which one is careful in interviewing (and examining) patients, careful to balance benefits and harms of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, slow to intervene when symptoms are undifferentiated, committed to observation as an important diagnostic and therapeutic strategy, and cautious about adopting new diagnostic tests and therapies until the evidence establishes their value.