Obituary: The Passing of the Physician Healer

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It is with the deepest regret that we announce the passing of the physician healer. While there was no exact date provided, it was believed that his death occurred sometime during 2013. This was preceded by a long illness that began in the 1970s and appears to finally have taken him in the last year.

He was believed to be many thousands of years old and left behind a rich legacy of accomplishments. His early years were noteworthy for a heavy bent toward spirituality and the invocation of spells and use of potions and herbals, providing spiritual, emotional and physical solace and healing to his fellow man. His many adherents spread his work from the deserts and savannahs of Africa to the tropical forests of Asia and the frozen lands of the Arctic and Siberia.

His every word and touch brought a profound change in those who were most in need. His many acolytes seemed to have found a initial allies in the growth of modern medicine only to be rebuffed by the darker side, the loss of interest in healing and the growing interest in money and self interest. As he often said, to care for others should always be the first and greatest reward and he saw this motive slip away. The final kneel was manifest by the growing hypercapitalism and corporatization of the caregiver, with the physician now a rotating "team member," without a true and deep connection to the patient, and answering to an army of unseen accountants and bean counters.

As he said on his deathbed, "I feel we are now just like every other corporation, and our patients are no longer our patients but merely clients. My colleagues have grown numb and unable to have the strength or power to return to the old ways, and have accepted their fate. Who will remain to heal the patient?" he gasped on his final day.

It surely cannot be the "concierge doctors," a growing cadre of "providers" claiming to wish more time for their patients but in reality seek to aggrandize themselves while leaving behind those unable to afford their care. Nor can it be those many alternative providers, claiming the mantle of healer but dismissing the true benefits of the modern medicine for the false promise of the herbal potions -- the only option the early healers knew but had long ago abandoned. "No," he said, "We need to recapture both the good of what modern medicine has and yet not forget it isn't just about the money, it is still about the healing." But who will listen?