Matinum

Taking Charge of Your Health


I spent a year getting my life
together. Really, this was when I was 28, changed a
lot of things. I stopped eating meat, started doing yoga,
started practicing meditation, spent time outdoors, spent time in the
wilderness, began learning about Native American
culture in medicine. Lot of changes and it was also during
that year that I wrote my first book, The Natural Mind. Because one thing you talk about at
Harvard was, you were really disappointed with the state of modern
American Medical Education. It wasn’t what you expected it to be. First of all, it was very disconnected from
nature and given my background with medicinal plants, you know, I
could really see that disconnection. I didn’t learn anything about
preventing illness. I didn’t learn anything about health and
healing, and it seemed to me that the main business of a physician should be
to teach people how to be healthy and stay healthy. And, in addition, the methods that I was
taught to use bothered me. It just seemed to me that too much harm was caused by them,
particularly the use of strong pharmaceutical drugs.
And did you have the sense that there really wasn’t an overarching philosophy to it; it was
a lot of disconnected facts? I noticed, yes, I mean, there seemed to be not a lot of
connection. It was just a massive amount of information that was presented and not much attempt to integrate the information, not teach
general principles about the human body and the nature of health, the nature of illness. I had a sense that there must be another way of doing things, but I didn’t know it was. Now, you started young, at a young age, traveling and there
was a period in your life, remember you told me where you thought
you almost couldn’t stop traveling. You were travelling and traveling and traveling. What was that period about? What did you learn and why did you travel so much? Well I got a fellowship from a
wonderful organization called The Institute of Current World Affairs, that
enabled me to travel around the world, look at other
cultures, healing practices, altered states of consciousness,
psychoactive plants, medicinal plants. It was great, and I spent a lot of time in Latin
America, some in Africa, some in Asia. And, you know, I was a real vagabond
during that period; I didn’t have a home. But, it was out of all those experiences that
I collected a great deal of information that has entered into my subsequent work and
practice.

2 thoughts on “The Formative Years After Medical School

  1. Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. discusses pivotal experiences he had in his late 20's that helped him to form his iconoclastic medical philosophy.

    [Another good doctor who it seems is his own man. Dr. Weil, undoubtedly is a thinking man & as such was able to see through some of the nonsense that so many other physicians in the western world just blindly follow so as to regurgitate
    same to patient after patient, when fully qualified as a doctor/M.D.

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