The Future of Patient-Centered Care Essay

In the video The Future of Patient-Centered Care, Dr. David Moen discusses how personal development and inter-awareness can help people find ways to fix a complex health care system and empower patients. Dr. Moen was president of Fairview Physician Associates (FPA) and committed his life to building on the belief that providers are in the best position to transform health care.

In the video, he applies the theory of patient-centered practice to the actual cases through explicit examples from his career as a physician. Dr. Moen also stresses the fact that the U.S. education system is only beginning to shift towards providing relevant knowledge and describes how the educational journey did not prepare him to the actual cases he was going to face (TEDx Talks). In summary, Dr. Moen encourages his audience to realize that health care reform does not happen in the government; instead, it starts within every care provider and translates to patient-centered care.

The concept that resonated with me the most was how little impact a physician can make on patients’ medical outcomes. In other words, all care providers have to accept that a patient’s health is not completely under their control. Dr. Moen states that the health care system of the United States in its entirety has less influence on a person’s behavior than either genetics or social factors (TEDx Talks). This fact relates to my purpose in becoming a dentist, as I will not be able to heal everyone I will have to treat. Moreover, even after improving my patients’ condition may degenerate and I must accept that.

Another instance that stayed me was realization of how controversial the capability of a physician is in improving the health conditions of the patients. According to Dr. Moen, the key to improving the results of any treatment is by ushering modifications in people’s behavior (TEDx Talks). Thus, the ways of improving patients’ health conditions may be not obvious. For example, Dr. Moen describes a case where a simple question whether a male doctor could touch his female patient, who had become a victim of domestic violence, had more impact than the treatment (TEDx Talks).

In my future dentist’s practice instead of telling my patients to cut on sugar to improve their teeth’s condition, I may consider asking what their reasoning for eating so much sugar is. Apart from treating the symptoms, I will make every effort to promote behavioral change. In short, after watching the video, I came to an understanding that the purpose of a doctor is not to improve the immediate conditions of a patient, but to initialize a change in behavior through simple conversations.

I am an extrovert, and I can engage in conversations with ease. According to Dr. Moen, this is crucial as I can initialize a behavioral change through small talks with my future patients (TEDx Talks). Moreover, among my strengths are attentiveness and thoughtfulness, which are essential in dentistry as I am less likely to hurt anyone’s feelings and make the conversations more productive in ushering the behavioral modifications. In brief, my strengths can be utilized to empower patients and enhance patient-centered care.

The central idea the video promotes is that human compassion should be the basis of any healthcare practice. Even though the impact physicians can make on a person’s health conditions is controversial and limited, everyone has to engage into awkward conversations all doctors try to avoid. In conclusion, my purpose in becoming a dentist is to redefine health not just as the absence of disease, but as the ever presence of well-being.


TEDx Talks. (2012). The future of patient-centered care: Dave Moen at TEDxUMN. Web.

The Future of Patient-Centered Care

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