Over the last year and a bit that I have been writing this blog, we’ve covered a lot of material. I began way back at the outset with the project of dissecting the conventional SOAP approach to patient evaluation. Though we’ve taken many detours and required some deep drilling into certain concepts along the way, that effort remains the animating ambition behind my efforts. Recently we’ve been exploring the implications for the A in SOAP: assessment.
Assessing a patient’s health requires us to consider the cause of their symptoms. Conducting a full history of the circumstances and the physical and emotional environment that surrounded the onset of a patient’s condition provides information needed to determine the root cause of the symptoms and make an accurate health assessment.
Understanding the factors which may have contributed to a patient’s illness can help us address and eliminate the cause, rather than merely alleviate the symptoms of a condition. The fact that the mind and body work as one, with our physical and emotional reactions intricately intertwined and affecting our neuro-immune pathways, makes it imperative for us to expand our approach to both assessment and prescription. Recognizing these relations and dynamics has been the objective of our discussion over the last couple months.
I want now to carry our discussion further and deeper. A bit of history and perspective on the diagnostic tradition will serve to get us started down that path. We’ll turn to that in the next post. Look forward to seeing you there.