Practice Philosophy


- Michael Eisner, CEO Disney Corporation

I love this quote! It really "hits the mark” when it comes to
managing our health and our life, for that matter. Put another
way, "if you don’t make time for your health, you will have to make time for illness”.
Daily I encounter patients who inspire me with their courage and determination to make a change. For some it’s a change of diet, such as Weight Watchers, others joining a gym or starting a walking program, or perhaps participating in a Yoga or Tai-Chi class. In observing patients over the last twenty eight years, it has become obvious that those that take personal responsibility for their health and strive daily to improve it, not only have less pain and dysfunction, but think more clearly, increase their creativity, their productivity and manage stress more effectively.

As we are all too aware these days, our health care system is collapsing. No amount of money can correct the basic ills of the system.

The days of having your "family doctor” take you from the cradle to grave are gone. It is estimated by health economists in the province that if we continue to fund our health care system at the present rate of increase, in the next 10 – 15 years we will only be able to fund one or two government ministries. In North America, twelve thousand "baby boomers” turn sixty every day. When this group turns sixty the health care needs jump 400%. When they turn seventy, their needs increase by 800%. Our health care system, as it now stands, will be in utter chaos. This startling reality must compel us to take absolute responsibility for our own health. We must make changes in our attitude in regards to our commitment to ourselves and our society.

The majority of our health care dollars is spent on the inevitable consequences of such risk factors as obesity, smoking, alcohol and drugs. It is sad to observe that the diseases resulting from these risk factors are totally preventable. In all my years of practice I have never heard a patient say "I really regret the day I quit smoking” or "I really regret increasing my fitness level”. The community of Chase has sufficient resources to help us attain our health related goals. Our health center is staffed with dedicated doctors, nurses and counsellors who can guide us in areas such as stress management, alcohol and drug counseling, smoking cessation and diet. We have physiotherapists, a chiropractor and the Chase Family Fitness Centre to provide unique health related services. Even though these resources are so close at hand, they are, in general, under utilized. It takes effort and commitment to become a healthier person and therein lies the greatest challenge. It is still far too easy to fill a prescription rather than expend the effort to make changes in fitness level, diet or stress.

In the United States, Kaiser Permanente, the largest health insurer in the U.S., has recently completed a 46 million dollar study. It observed three different and significant health attitudes:



  • The optimally healthy, i.e. non-smoking and exercise regularly, etc.
  • The "wannabe’s”, those striving for optimal health. They understand the value and want to be guided.
  • The lost cause, those who see no value or exhibit no motivation for increasing their level of health.

Kaiser Permanente realized that category 3 clients were "sucking up” the majority of health care dollars and now will no longer insure or market their health insurance to this group. In Canada we may come to a point where very tough and similar decisions will have to be made; where funding may be directed more to prevention than trying to cure preventable illnesses.

Often I hear people speak of their condition as being age related. You may have heard the story about the man who went to see his family doctor about the pain in his right knee. The doctor’s comment was that he could expect this as he was getting older. This answer puzzled the man as he replied to the doctor, "I don’t understand, my left knee is just as old and it doesn’t bother me at all!”

Some of the oldest patients inspire me the most. I have several patients in their seventies and eighties who are more fit than many half their age. Most of our elders walk daily, golf, bicycle, lift weights and participate in the senior games.

What separates these individuals from the rest? I believe it begins with their attitude and continues from there. There is no age limit to wanting to live life to the fullest, to "squeeze every drop” out of every day. To live life with passion and inspiration regardless of age or apparent limitation!

In this article, I wanted to ring a wake up call, an attempt to dispel any notion that "we are okay” when it comes to our general attitude about health and health care delivery. I have tremendous faith and belief in the human potential to overcome all obstacles. Gandhi said "we must become the change we want to be”. When it comes to improving your health start with "baby steps” – set realistic goals, seek guidance. You’re worth it! As the Nike commercial says: "Just do it””

- Dr Wayne W. Quinn


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