mardi 28 juin 2011

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS. LESSONS FROM KUALA LUMPUR AND MIAMI

Last night while having dinner with my long time friend Dr Mark Walker and his wife Greta, we talked about collaborating on a venture which would provide quality comfort to patients who are suffering from various diseases, at the same time for us to continue enjoying our present vagabond lifestyle. Dr Walker is an experienced sailor and boat captain and we had spent a few trips together in the Bahamian waters when we were both postgraduate students at the University of Miami.
I was also thinking of my dear friend, MunChing, a certified Chartered Accountant (CPA) from KL in Malaysia who after 12 years at responsible positions in Price WaterHouse and four years in New York and another two years at the financial centre of Astro Multimedia in KL, had wanted to do what her heart had always wanted. To become a Yoga Teacher and thus be in a position to help people who are confused by the new life style presented to them, with increasing wealth , accessibility and international connections.
The common theme is that we all are dedicated professionals and serious about what we do but at the same time not caught up in the web of the social characterizations and with a genuine desire to help those who need help, or who cannot get the help they need in the conventional world of health, care and wellness.
Because of our very wide spectrum of education and cultural and experiential backgrounds, we have arrived at this juncture where the strategic focus of our effort, whether in KL or Miami, is to offer to those who desperately seek it, the distinct and focused Health Care, Advice and Lifestyle Coaching.
I have heard this before, it is better to be very good at a narrow field than be a Jack or Jackie of all trades and master of none. We jokingly refer to the legendary Dr Catz of Los Angeles who treated only one type of Thyroid disease, he was so good that he could diagnose the condition at a distance. He is a master at what he does and thousands of patients are grateful to him whereas many other Jack in the Box doctors had not paid much attention to the symptoms of the patients.
Our lives are such that we place an optimum price on the wellbeing of our lives rather than the income that is accrued which indirectly contributes to ill health. So our thoughts about Growth is not to grow in a linear fashion but Innovate in a linear fashion, so that we think in terms of what we can do for the person who is suffering, rather than what can be done for me. The shift from ME to THEM.
As all of us know, and as emphasized in the article in the Economist just this past week. Alternative Medicine or Complimentary Medicine work in reality, because of the time and concern shown by the alternative medicine practitioner, whether through crystals or alignment of chakras or Iridology. My current practice is about 80 per cent psychology or culture based Practice even though I am hired to do Endocrinology. But wellness does not recognize your degrees or your specialization but it does recognize your caring. Early in my career with the Indians, I did a short study of bringing about 10 older patients with Diabetes, Hypertension and High Cholesterol, once a week for a social session, where I was present. They sat around, talked and gossiped and ate and chatted some more and at no time was any of the diseases mentioned nor treatments stressed unless they had some urgent queries. Lo and Behold, at the end of the four weeks, their laboratory tests all showed improvement: The Hemoglobin A1C , BP readings, Cholesterol readings all had gotten better, and more than that they felt better as well.
This lack of understanding of emotional intelligence or an aversion to the social sciences among the doctors is one cause of their failure to gain better results . one in three patients with chronic conditions such as Diabetes or Hypertension or High Cholesterol will attain good results with whatever treatments are given to them, as observed by the fact that even in the war zone of Basra, they could achieve that, also in the inner cities of North America. To achieve better results, one has to look to other non pharmaceutical non clinical methods of treatments, which includes TIME spent with them and also adjustments in their way of thinking about their lives. Yoga is an excellent medium in which the cluttered mind can be cleared through the understanding of the philosophy of endurance and repetition.
Whether in KL with patients now seeking out our friend for Lifestyle coaching using Yoga or our philosophy which Mark, Greta and I share is about an Emotional Engagement with persons who come in contact with us. We impart to them, on that vessel of compassion and understanding, the knowledge we have about human body and mind and our knowledge about medications and nutrition.

I am glad to be part of the project in KL, I know that it is better for that to grow slowly, because if it grows rapidly neither the teacher nor the people who seek refuge there would be satisfied.
We are in a way social entrepreneurs, using the knowledge we have in science and social studies, to bring comfort and relieve the suffering of those who seek our advice.