Victoria Sweet, M.D., Ph.D., recognizes the benefit in taking her time. An Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF and a prize-winning medical historian, her more than 20 years of practicing medicine at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco have given her amazing insight into how the medical field has changed over the years—for better and for worse. Sweet recently published her second, highly acclaimed, book Slow Medicine: A Way to Healing, which discusses those changes, including incredible advances in technology, and the most important thing we often push aside when dealing with health: the time it takes to find effective treatment.
Sweet will take the stage at Bioneers 2018 alongside Rupa Marya, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF, for their talk, Revisioning Healing and Public Health in the 21st Century. Both extraordinary physicians will deliver radical critiques of the current medical paradigm and share their strategies and visions of what an effective, equitable, truly compassionate medical system would look like around the world.
In advance of the conference, Sweet shared with us some of things on her mind, including what she sees as our biggest reason to hope right now, and how we can all benefit from slowing down.
What she’s most excited for within the next year: “Getting to spread the word about Slow in general and Slow Medicine in specific.”
Her biggest reason to have hope right now: “The new generation coming up is an amazingly open, respectful group of people, of all kinds and natures.”
Our biggest challenge to overcome right now: “The seductive power of pessimism. Looked at historically we are living in an amazing time. There are no World Wars going on. No major worldwide plagues. Our biggest medical problem regarding food is not starvation but obesity, and this even in third world countries.”
The number one thing individuals can do to have a big impact on the world in a positive way: “Slow Down. Focus. Be digital and do one thing at a time. As Dante wrote almost a thousand years ago, ‘Haste mars the dignity of every action.’ Every action has a dignity, and falling into the trap of multitasking destroys the present moment.”
The Bioneers 2018 talk she’s most excited to see: “Rebecca Moore’s Using Big Data to Map Solutions and From the Ground to the Cloud: New Solutions and Mapping Tools. She is changing the world.”
The two books she recommends to our audience: