The internet is full of recipes for green smoothies, and yoga is mainstream, but how much do either of those preventive measures really do for your health compared to modern medicine’s intervention techniques?
“Prevention vs. intervention” is exactly what two University of Arizona physicians will be debating Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.
In this free event hosted by the UA College of Medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, and Dr. Irving Kron, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine, will discuss the benefits and limitations of the two approaches.
Weil, a professor in the Department of Medicine and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is an expert in medicinal plants, alternative medicine and the reform of medical education and will be on the side of preventive measures. Kron, who specializes in heart surgery and heart transplantation, will be on the side of intervention measures.
“Dr. Weil is going to speak very much on self-care and prevention and the things we should do in our everyday life,” Kron said. “Even though we’re debating, what he says is absolutely correct. I’m going to speak more along the lines of if you have issues what do you do about it and who do you talk to. ... I think from a public health standpoint, you need to know both sides.”
UA President Dr. Robert Robbins will moderate the debate, and a panel of expert UA scientists and physicians will also comment after Weil and Kron finish debating. Afterwards, all of the participants will be available to answer audience questions.
“The whole point of this is to educate as well as entertain,” Kron said. “We hope this will be fun and humorous and easygoing. If people are interested, they’ll be able to ask questions.”
The other panelists include Roberta Brinton, director of the UA Health Sciences Center for Innovation in Brain Science; Dr. Juanita Merchant, chief of the UA Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology; Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center; and Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the UA College of Science.
Kron said he thinks the debate is worth attending, because while it will be enjoyable, it’s also important to know your options when it comes to health.
“We all know there are things we can do to reduce our risks. (Weil) believes some of these things can actually prevent most things from happening,” Kron said. “My belief is maybe you can put some stuff off. The point is you have to know that, one, that you can do these things, and two, even if you do get something, it’s not a disaster. We all get something, and the point is early recognition and treatment is great.”