Preventative Medicine


I've started working with a trainer to optimize myself.

I don't know her story verbatim, but from what I gather she had originally planned to be a physiotherapist. However, after she started shadowing with real physiotherapist and their patients she became disillusioned with the practice of physio. What she noticed was that majority of what physio was treating were AFTER THE FACT issues. I.e. treating the symptoms rather than the causes.

I think that a lot of medicine and healthcare operates like this (and, honestly, i don't entirely blame them; it's a society problem, not so much them; they just happen to be in the line of fire). Have high blood pressure; here's a pill to treat it. Terrible skin problem; here's some cortisol cream.

We end up treating the symptoms rather than the root cause of these issues.

I've started to think about this in every day life. When I make a decision, I not only think of the first-order consequences of what might happen as a result of this decision, but also the second and third-order consequences. And, then, I'll ask myself how I can address those consequences (either good or bad = channelling more of the good, reducing less of the bad).

For example, my dad loses his keys all the time. It's just sort of him; he's got a lot going on upstairs 🧠. And I've radically accepted that he's probably not going to change. So, I accept that and do what I can. For me, this involved buying Tiles for all of his keys so that when he does lose them, we can locate them via their app.

One thing that I wonder about "preventative medicine" for everyday problems is that I don't know if humans generally understand + appreciate them. What I mean by this is that when you put preventative measures in place, solutions are solved without seeing the problem. People take for granted how big and problematic the hypothetical problem may have been.

For me, I think about politicians. I'm thinking out loud here but it seems that it might actually be better for them in the long-run to make bad decisions so that they can solve the problems they have caused. If a politician came in and made the best preventative decisions, the general public might not see all of this + as a result vote her out of offices bc "she didn't do anything".

Written: October 31, 2020


  • I'm a hockey goalie and I try to communicate to my team as much as possible throughout the game. "Hey, watch out the player in front!" "Adam, you got time to wheel [i.e. skate]" In many cases, I'm actually trying to prevent a shot from coming my way. From my POV, a shot on me should actually be a last resort. I personally think it's better for me to stop the shot or goal scoring opportunity from happening in the first place. With this being said, my stats from games might look really bad. This is because, by preventing shots, I get fewer shots (and I'd argue, usually higher quality shots). So rather than letting in 3 goals on 30 shots (0.900), I let in 3 on 15 (0.800) and my stats look worse. This is sort of the point I'm trying to draw out; it actually might look better to some people when problems are created...
  • Further, if a hockey goalie needs to make a BIG HUGE SAVE, it usually means that he or she is out of position prior to the shot.