Most of the conditions we treat at the Center for Multisystem Disease are emerging areas of medicine that do not yet have evidence-based guidelines. Dr. Schofield believes each patient's unique story influences their goals in managing their disease. For this reason, she is a strong proponent of the "shared decision making" model in which patients and physicians form a partnership. Her goals are to educate her patients (with as much or little detail as they desire) about these complex disorders, so that they may share--in an informed way--in making the decisions that are best for them. Not all patients have the same objectives. Dr. Schofield's goal with each patient is to determine the underlying cause for their symptoms and to improve their (self-defined) quality of life.
Acceptance of a chronic illness is a journey and most patients go through all or most of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief after the diagnosis of a significant chronic disease. This process usually takes many months or even years and sometimes patients get stuck in one phase for long periods of time or will circle back to one of the stages again before finally moving on to acceptance. Learning to manage chronic illness is also a journey and it requires trial and error, patience and persistence.
Lastly, lifestyle choices can affect outcomes in patients with the diseases we treat. Dr. Schofield encourages a "real-food" anti-inflammatory diet, regular physical activity and stress reduction measures such as breathing techniques, meditation and making career, educational and other choices that reduce stress.