How can doctors evolve as a profession

By | February 1, 2016

How can doctors evolve as a profession if we aren’t willing to explore things we don’t understand, like energy medicine or shamanism or faith healing? As a scientist, I’ve been curious enough to go to 16,000 feet in the Andes in Peru to sit with shamans, interview energy healers from the US, research Qigong masters from China and electric healers in Bali to explore the new and old story of how healing can happen. If you look back at the history of science, most radical breakthroughs flew in the face of scientific dogma, and those on the cutting edge were initially dismissed by the scientific community as quacks and crazies. But science must remain objective. The minute we start censoring anything that threatens the dominant scientific worldview, we fall into dogma and lose the opportunity to be real scientists who seek only truth and are happy to be proven wrong. As a doctor, I just wanted to illuminate universal truths. The truth can never be discredited, because it’s just true.

The faith-filled part of me was willing to accept that there are things we experience that science simply can’t explain yet. Sometimes science just hasn’t developed the technology to prove the existence of the phenomena we are actually experiencing as “real.” Those who theorize something are often proven right years later, but during the messy in-between, these people sometimes get burned at the stake. Until their ideas can be verified by science, these kinds of visionaries must cling to something intangible. Call it faith. Call it intuition. It was radical for me to even conceive of the idea that healing might involve factors we simply can’t explain with science yet. But my mind had already been dismantled with question marks, and I simply couldn’t unlearn what I was learning.
Was this my baby in the bathwater, this impulse to seek truth in medicine?