While we all seek to create sustainable, healthy habits in our daily lives, knowing where to begin and how to practice these habits consistently is challenging. Having support in every area of your life, from personal to professional, can build behavioral change that promotes your physical health just as much as your mental and emotional well-being.
Dr. Dan Pino, Chief Physician Executive at Eskenazi Health Center, West 38th Street and Medical Director of Lifestyle, Health, and Wellness, joins The Whole Health Cure podcast to discuss health-promoting relationships and the importance of personal connection in the patient-doctor relationship specifically. In this episode, Dan shares how his interests in community and belonging complement his career as a physician, as well as how these principles have become an integral part of his program at Eskenazi. Rather than advise his patients from a purely clinical perspective, Dan seeks to form more meaningful connections and gain a holistic understanding of their unique stressors, priorities, and motivators.
“When we look at behavior change, we acknowledge that each of us has individual beliefs and understandings, and if we don’t pay attention to it, people may not be heard.”
Dan recognizes that building relationships takes effort. Mutual trust, communication, and vulnerability are key components of any human connection, and this “give-and-take” mentality must extend to the medical space. In his experience, simply expressing a willingness to listen has built strong foundational connections between him and his patients and has resulted in positive behavior changes, like improved compliance with blood pressure and cholesterol medication.
“I feel like it opens the door, and it probably better is, it brings down walls… I bring down what I think is true about myself in that moment, and I present as Dan the person and the story, and some of that also can feel the same way that the person in front of me does.”
Here are some of the details of our conversation:
[00:02:19] Developing an interest in relationships and healthcare
[00:05:35] Key elements of relationships
[00:06:36] Incorporating connection into the medical space
[00:08:27] Eskenazi lifestyle group visits
[00:12:49] Bringing down walls
[00:14:56] Building trust through “give-and-take”
[00:18:23] The impact of relationships in Dan’s practice and life
[00:24:53] Practicing awareness and vulnerability
[00:29:30] Building supportive relationships
[00:30:52] Eskenazi programs
[00:35:55] Intentionality as a process
Dr. Dan Pino: https://medicine.iu.edu/faculty/6194/pino-daniel