(From left) Dr. Ka-Kit Hui and his son Dr. Edward Kwok-Ho Hui at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.
Edward Kwok-Ho Hui, MD’01 (RES ’04, FEL ’06), is board-certified in internal and geriatric medicine. He is director of the East-West Primary Care program at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM). Dr. Hui believes that primary care can benefit from an increased appreciation of the values and practices of geriatrics and integrative East-West medicine and that these practices can play a role in the redesign of primary care.
My philosophy as a physician has been greatly influenced by my father Ka-Kit Hui, MD ’75 (RES ’78, FEL’79). In a sense, I was inspired to pursue medicine as a result of my involvement in his early work in integrative medicine at UCLA. Now I work alongside him and our colleagues and staff at the CEWM to deliver and disseminate our brand of integrative medicine.
UCLA Health’s strategic plan to expand outpatient care highlights the demand for quality and affordable care, with a focus on value. Our effort over the past several years to reorganize and expand the long-existing consultative and treatment clinic at the CEWM into a one-stop, full-service, integrative East-West health center is our attempt to deliver such care and work toward the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim — improving the patient’s experience of care, improving the health of populations and lowering costs. This integrative-medicine-flavored patient-centered medical home will help meet the demand for high-level generalists who practice integrative medicine. It will empower patients to develop optimal health and well-being through a model of primary care that is rooted in the principles of prevention, holism, integrative medicine and traditional Chinese healing philosophy.
While we have shown integrative East-West medicine, with its ability to offer symptom relief and palliation with less toxicity and to rebuild infrastructure that is in disrepair, to be helpful for patients with advanced disease, its real strength may lie in its ability to intervene at an earlier stage in the continuum of health and disease. The hope is that this early intervention will effectively address most problems in the primary-care setting and help patients avoid a trajectory that sometimes involves expensive and unnecessary evaluations and therapeutic interventions with non-optimal outcomes.
After all, a focus on prevention and wellness and preference for low-tech, low-cost and high-touch treatments is what most patients really want. It certainly helps, too, that this is what those who pay for healthcare also want.
To learn more about integrative medicine at UCLA, visit the Integrative Medicine website.