The Population Health Picture

blind-men-and-elephant-image

The current situation in the U.S. when it comes to discussions about health bring to mind the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant. You can learn more about this story at Wikipedia.

The gist of the story is that six blind men examine an elephant. Based on the part of the element examined, their conclusions of what an elephant is differ greatly. Click HERE to hear a reading of a poem based on this story.

In general, our health care system resembles this story. Each group or organization or specialty is only looking at a part of the elephant. And while each part is important and necessary, it does not represent the totality.

Wikipedia says, “It [this story] has been used to illustrate a range of truths and fallacies; broadly, the parable implies that one’s subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth. At various times the parable has provided insight into the relativism, opaqueness or inexpressible nature of truth, the behavior of experts in fields where there is a deficit or inaccessibility of information, the need for communication, and respect for different perspectives.”

Population Health is an attempt to look at the totality of truth. The Friedell Committee is working to collaborate with other organizations and individuals to ensure that there are Kentucky citizens actively working to ensure that the whole picture is being considered when it comes to the health of the population.