Claude Bernard, the father of modern physiology, with his pupils

Integrated & Integrity in Healthcare

“Most psychologists treat the mind as disembodied, a phenomenon with little or no connection to the physical body. Conversely, physicians treat the body with no regard to the mind or the emotions. But the body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.”

Candace Pert

Integrated in Healthcare

We can think about integration in relationship to the consultation or the healthcare system as a whole. With respect to the system it is clear to anyone working in this field that outcomes are better for patients and more satisfying for practitioners when services are integrated, when teams are communicating and working together and there are no gaps in services. The key to success is the quality of conversations between those whose whose actions impinge upon one another. If these conversations are real dialogue – listening and responding according to explicit values – then good outcomes will emerge from the system.

See also article ‘Making Sense of the NHS “A&E Crisis” BHMA Newsletter Feb 2015


‘An alternative guide to the new NHS in England’ by the Kings Fund showing the complexity of the system.

An ‘Integrative Medicine’ approach is one approach to ‘Whole Person Care’

“Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.”

Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health 

Integrity in Healthcare

Acting with integrity is an aspect of being integrated as a person. Integrity is a key virtue for healthcare practitioners but acting with integrity can be difficult to navigate.

“Your professional integrity is a measure of the degree to which your own professional reputation and credibility remain intact. It is more than just clinical or technical excellence alone, since a major element of a person’s integrity derives from the way in which they are viewed by others. Anything which has the potential to reduce a professional person’s reputation in the eyes of another undermines their professional standing.”


Integrity and Integration by Mike W. Martin

“According to the consensus paradigm, burnout and family life are either irrelevant to understanding professional integrity or pose threats to it. The consensus paradigm limits professional ethics, in terms of which professional integrity is defined, to the duties accepted as a consensus within a profession and incumbent on all its members. Whatever the cause of increasing involvement with professions, integrating work with family and other commitments is now a major moral challenge. The emphasis on personal ideals in professional life may seem to make matters worse by encouraging excessive zeal at work, compounding the dangers of burnout and harm to families. But excessive zeal is just that — a lack of reasonable proportion and balance. Realistic ideals of caring bring resources for avoiding burnout and for integrating professional and other commitments by keeping moral imperatives clear. To see this, we need a pragmatic view of moral reasoning that cautions against rigid hierarchies among personal commitments, while being sensitive to the need for setting priorities in specific contexts where work and family compete.”

Discover more about the themes of work-life balance, burnout and values in the ‘Balanced’, ‘Meaningful’ and ‘Resilient’ dimensions.