Why I practice medicine with Stethoscope and box of spinach?

Whether I am in my office or in the emergency department, patient motivated by their sufferings, makes great efforts to present with honesty and a genuine willingness to accept a solution or new perspectives. If indeed four in five Canadian adults have at least one modifiable risk factor for chronic disease, then I am of the new perspective that by spending time in self-management education and support as well as treating the presenting problem in each patient encounter, I can potentially quadruple my impact on population health.

I think the use of Physician-led Group Patient Self-management Education and Support allows me to engage 15-40 patients at a time can further multiplied my value as a physician by investing more "upstream" in our health care system.

At meetings and conferences for physicians, I share my new way of practicing medicine "stethoscope in one hand and a box of spinach in the other".  To me stethoscope represents technology and treatment; the box of spinach represents education and self-management.  I also share the following invitation with all health care providers interested in experiencing "Physician-led Group Patient Self-management Education and Support". I think this is an effective way to share my perspective on this subject with others in a way that does not take me away form my practice workflow.

Wellness Groups at Ajax Harwood Clinic

Approximately four in five Canadian adults have at least one modifiable risk factor for chronic disease (self-reported tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and harmful use of alcohol)

(Health Canada)

“Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked. People living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Conversely, people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population”.

(Canadian Mental Health Association)

Ajax Harwood Clinic is a case study in the CFPC-Published October 2018 “Best Advice Guide: Recovery-Oriented Mental Health and Addiction Care in the Patient’s Medical Home”, CFPC

We run weekly Physician-Led Groups to encourage personal reflection and authentic sharing around two important evidence-based health promotions:
  1. Eat Well Plate
    A healthy diet includes at least 400 grams of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day, excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots.   (WHO)
  2. Mindfulness-based Wellness Program
    We promote Mindfulness and Meditation as a part of Canada’s Mental-Health Strategy

Please contact Ajax Harwood Clinic at 905-683-0690 or email ajaxharwoodclinic@gmail.com if you’d like to attend any of the groups for more information.

Weekly Wellness Classes at Ajax Harwood Clinic (except civic holidays)

  • Mindfulness Training Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00AM - 9:00AM
  • Healthy Lifestyle - The Owner's manual for your body and mind: Tuesdays 10:00AM - 11:30PM
  • Stress? Learn to be the master the monkey mind: Tuesdays 1:00PM - 2:30PM
  • Feel stuck in life? Get unstuck with mindfulness: Tuesdays 3:00PM - 4:30PM
  • Get ready for a new year of school and work with our Summer Mood Camp! Tuesdays 5:45PM - 7:15PM
  • Walking-Talking Mindfulness Training at St. Andrew's Community Garden: Wednesdays 8:00AM - 8:45AM

Everyone is welcome and see you at the groups  😊!

Carlos Yu BMath, MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP  


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