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Healing Touch—Stat!

Dr. Mark Rosenberg brings holistic medicine to the ER.

Illustration Credit: Hand by Jennifer Davis

Dr. Mark Rosenberg is a personable, talkative doctor who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years. But that’s not why people smile when they see him. As chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine as well as chief of Geriatrics Emergency Medicine and Palliative Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in New Jersey, Rosenberg has outside-the-box ideas about how to fix what is broken in modern medicine. His goal: take the best practices of non-Western medicine and integrate them into the mainstream. And he’s not just talking; he’s making it happen.One of the Northeast’s busiest ERs, St. Joseph’s emergency room used to be a frantic, noisy, adrenaline-filled place. Though that is the reality for most emergency rooms in the country, Rosenberg believes—and scientific studies have confirmed—that stress is counterproductive to healing. He argues that patients need human contact, soothing music, and even pleasant smells to help them get well, and that when emergency rooms are more welcoming and less stressful, doctors and care providers benefit, too.“Modern medicine is designed to be curative or …

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