From Our Blog

Thoughts and insights from our Mindful Practice in Medicine staff and colleagues. Sign-up for our newsletter to stay connected.

Getting back to basics

Getting back to basics

Frequently I am asked to describe how practicing mindfully is integral to good medical practice, yet it is sometimes difficult to put it into just a few words… yet through distractions and daydreaming, putting things off and writing and rewriting, I came to a new clarity. I might not have put it all this way had I been provided the same opportunity even a few years ago. Like all important ideas, it grows and evolves and has a life of their own, and we only catch glimpses of its truth. So, here is mindful practice, with a date stamp, May 2, 2022:
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Returning to Our Senses

Returning to Our Senses

by Fred Marshall, MD

Perhaps for us to engage in compassionate action in the world, we must practice the freedom that comes from gently releasing our narratives and attending as fully as possible to the ever-enduring moment. Perhaps we must come back to our senses.

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Aspirations- An Inspiring Focus for our Practice

Aspirations- An Inspiring Focus for our Practice

By Mick Krasner, MD

I have been thinking a lot about the traditional paradigm in medicine of defining patients by their problems. This framing that focuses on deficits, deficiencies, and things to be fixed permeates the ways in which well-being and ill-being are approached. And more than that, this paradigm defines the nature of the challenges facing us as health professionals. We speak of burnout, exhaustion, objectification, unhealthy teamwork, moral distress, and other experiences of being part of a flawed system…  

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Furious to Curious

Furious to Curious

By Ron Epstein, MD

In the chaos and frustrations of the seemingly endless pandemic and societal upheavals, it’s so tempting to look for someone or something to blame, the “evil other” who, by virtue of differences in perspective or beliefs, is crafted into a justified target for anger. Whatever your beliefs about the pandemic, racism, guns, reproductive health, government and money, more than ever in recent memory, there’s a target – it’s them, not us. 

There is another way…

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Let’s Begin Again

Let’s Begin Again

By Patricia Lück, MB ChB(MD), MPhil PallMed, MSc MedHum

Archbishop Desmond Tutu died Christmas Day, December 25th, 2021. Many in the Mindful Practice community know of him from a quote used in one of our presentations taken from an interview in the documentary I Am. In it he tells us “We are because we belong;” as individuals we are utterly vulnerable and dependent on those around us to survive and thus belong to one another as a collective being. In this, Desmond Tutu challenges the dominant western paradigm of privileged self-interest that seems to have deeply pervaded these past two years of loss, grief, and struggle at all levels, including the micro levels of our personal family and clinical practice lives, and at the macro level of structural social and health inequities, environmental crises, and the ever expanding pandemic.

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Improvisatory Play as a Mindful Practice

Improvisatory Play as a Mindful Practice

By Fred Marshall, MD

When we bring awareness to the flow of our experience, we can find ourselves poised on the edge of new discoveries.  Our physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts can stream along in seemingly well-worn channels, but somehow there is always a surprise around the corner.

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Landscapes, Inner and Outer

Landscapes, Inner and Outer

By Mick Krasner, MD

I recently attended the screening of a German documentary film titled Grenzland, which translates to Borderland. In it the filmmaker Andreas Voigt presents a series of miniature portraits of ordinary people on both sides of the river Oder which forms part of the border between Poland and Germany. The lives of the protagonists in this film have been shaped by the ever-changing nature of this and many other borders around the world. This part of Europe although sparsely populated with small villages and few cities and rich and diverse in bird and plant life nevertheless has experienced in the past 100 years tremendous social, political, and economic upheaval.

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Slow medicine: Gardening, Clinical Care and Ourselves

Slow medicine: Gardening, Clinical Care and Ourselves

By Ron Epstein, M.D.

Each year I plant a garden, but since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been more attentive and ambitious. My garden plot gets just enough sun for cherry tomatoes, and I have herbs growing in pots on the deck just outside my home office. I also have two bay laurel trees, now over 7 feet tall, which I grew from seedlings.

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Equanimity

Equanimity

By Fred Marshall, MD

The other morning, as I was listening to the radio on my drive to work, the music was interrupted by an announcer with a stentorian tone: “Severe Storm Warning for Monroe and the Surrounding Counties.” In a matter of just a few more blocks, the weather transformed from docile to frantic. Trees were losing their branches, the wind was howling, leaves were swirling, and the rain was horizontal…

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Mindful Practice: Community, Healing and the Long Journey of Medicine

Mindful Practice: Community, Healing and the Long Journey of Medicine

By Mick Krasner, MD

If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb

Our work in Medicine is not a sprint. It is more like a marathon. We know it requires discipline, commitment, intention, hard work, and stamina. But unlike running a marathon for individual reasons, it is a community activity. And in this time of the Olympics…

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