Blast From the Past: A Message from Ron Hunninghake, M.D.

Talk about a blast from the past, we stepped back in time to revisit the many joys that Dr. Ron once discovered in his beginning years as a Provider at the Riordan Clinic, formerly know as The Center.

“After practicing medicine as a family physician for 11 years, I arrived at The Center in 1987 where I began in earnest as a true holistic doctor. What has it meant to be a holistic doc? Well, it has been a joy. Actually, it has been many joys.”


The joy of discovering.

Too many doctors, once they get into practice, find themselves doing the same thing over and over again. At The Center, every day is a day of discovery.

The joy of teaching.

I have known my whole life that I was born to teach. At The Center, I have actualized the meaning of the word “doctor”…”teacher!” It has been through teaching that I have truly learned. The teacher-student relationship is the higher calling of the doctor-patient relationship … only, who is the real teacher and who is the real student?

The joy of listening.

I have learned the supreme value of being a good listener. Our patients, as co-learners, are aching to explore the meaning of their illness with a professional. As an effective listener, I teach them to listen to their bodies, their hearts, and their spirits… the clues that will lead them to healing are there, just waiting to be realized.

The joy of quantifying for the sake of quality.

It has been too often the case that numbers are more important than people in modern medical practice. At The Center, left-brain analysis joins right-brain synthesis to co-serve in the process of healing. Good science compliments the art of living wellness. Our nutritional workup demonstrates to the co-learner precisely where work is needed to restore quality functioning.

The joy of accepting.

Many diseases can’t be “fixed.” Every illness can be healed. One huge piece in the healing process is acceptance. Acceptance (not fatalism) begins with my total acceptance of the patient (and myself). Ironically, what has been rejected cannot be changed. Accepting an illness is the beginning of healing. Even a terminal illness can be inwardly healed this way.

The joy of loving.

Most of us associate love with an attachment for objects or people we desire to have or own. A higher definition of love is actually based upon detachment, where the person is loved from a perspective of deep compassion and caring. The doctor sees that he is no different, in essence, from the patient…and realizes in a profound way: “Physician, heal thyself!”

The joy of encouraging.

Encouragement is the process of evoking courage from within. As a physician, by embodying “I can,” the patient is given the chance of rediscovering “I can” within him or herself.

The joy of co-learning.

The Center’s best gift to me, and to the world is that: that doctors are courageous and humble enough to realize that health is so unique and individual for each patient, that wisdom dictates it best to enter into a relationship with each patient where mutual learning  and discovery reveals the special steps of healing for that patient, and that patient alone.

The joy of serving.

At The Center, I do not fix patients. I do not even help patients. As a co-learner, I serve my patients. Service is the manifestation of my love for my patients. Service acknowledges their primacy in the healing process. Service frees me as a physician from any arrogance I might have about my knowledge or abilities. Most importantly, it keeps me on my toes, spiritually, by always allowing me to remember Who really is at work here.