How Healing Works, and What It Means for Health Care, with Wayne Jonas, MD

Dr Wayne Jonas

Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs and an expert in integrative health and healthcare delivery, wants to shift the healthcare paradigm. In his recent lecture, “How Healing Works, and What It Means for Health Care,” Dr. Jonas presents his view that a patient’s journey to wellness goes beyond symptom suppression and pharmacological approaches. Presented as part of the Grand Rounds Lecture Series from IFM in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, this lecture discusses the benefits of using an integrative healthcare model that addresses what Dr. Jonas calls “personal determinants of healing,” or lifestyle factors that the patient needs in order to wholly and fully heal. He applies his methodology to two case studies: a patient with chronic pain and another with heart disease. Neither has seen long-term improvements in health from the myriad prescriptions they’ve used throughout the course of their diseases. Dr. Jonas recounts their healing journey and how sustainable lifestyle changes brought them closer to their health goals.

As health disparities continue to increase in the US, some clinicians believe it’s time to rethink the healthcare model and shift the focus from disease to wellness. As much as 80% of a person’s well-being is influenced by underlying socioeconomic factors known as the social determinants of health; the conventional medicine model only equips providers to treat the other 20%, physiological health.1 According to Dr. Jonas, “Integrative health care is not a problem of access or education, but rather of the culture of healthcare systems in the US.” Many patients are unaware that alternative or non-pharmacological treatments are available, and many clinicians are unable to deliver these services within the scope of their practices. Those that can may find that their services are not covered by most insurance companies.

Dr. Jonas believes that by focusing on lifestyle-oriented treatments and homing in on the environmental factors that may have contributed to their diseases, patients become agents of their own healing without pharmaceuticals.

The free Grand Rounds Lecture Series now includes this recent lecture by Dr. Jonas on the determinants of patient healing, followed by an exclusive interview by the director of the Center for Functional Medicine, Mark Hyman, MD. The Grand Rounds lectures are offered FREE to clinicians through IFM in collaboration with the Center for Functional Medicine. Access other lectures in the series by clicking here.

Wayne B. Jonas, MD, is a practicing family physician and a widely published scientific investigator. Dr. Jonas is the executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, which focus on increasing the awareness of and access to integrative health. He has led and participated in hundreds of studies, and his work sets the bar for evidence-based research in the areas of pain, stress, and physical performance.



  1. McGinnis JM, Williams-Russo P, Knickman JR. The case for more active policy attention to health promotion. Health Aff. 2002;21(2):78-93. doi:1377hlthaff.21.2.78

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