Another Plug for Mindfulness from the Humanism in Medicine Blog

Dr. James Amos with coffeeI thought I’d share the Humanism in Medicine Blog Post on my first-person perspective about Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class in which I recently participated. It was published today on the Arnold P. Gold Foundation website.

The editors praised it and I was pleased they allowed me to share my experiences with physician burnout and beginning to heal from it. It was also an opportunity to counter the tendency to push this issue under the rug. At times it can feel like burnout is almost a taboo subject.

Allowing that culture to continue is harder to do when one of the main principles of mindfulness is applied, which is to accept what’s here now, non-judgmentally, moment-to-moment. When we avoid or resist acknowledging painful situations, we only make them that much more difficult to cope with.

And it’s also important to point out that MBSR is not a passive acceptance of all kinds of injustice. That would make it harder to generate more skillful responses to the kinds of systems challenges which contribute substantially to the development of burnout.

MBSR is not a cure-all but it’s something else we can put in our coping toolbox.

However, I think I’ve developed a new craving for braaain.

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Comments

  1. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback about this post!

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  2. Jim,

    I had an experience yesterday that I thought might be mindfulness related.

    I realized that I walked through a quiet area today, struck up a conversation with a total stranger and made small talk for a few moments.

    Later as I was contemplating that drastic personality change (I am an introvert and usually incapable of small talk) and the reasons for it – I could only conclude it was due to my embracing the hopelessness of aging.

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    • You know, George, my first reaction to your comment was to laugh. For some reason I found it so funny I’m not sure how (or even if I should) interpret it. Maybe I identify with you. Or maybe you’re a pretty good josher 😉

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  3. Jim, thanks so much for writing your post for our blog Humanizing Medicine. We are so pleased that you were willing to share your experience. Working to prevent burnout is so important, not just for self-care but for patient care and colleague care as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would probably nurture the resilience of patient and doctor alike to be aware of our shared vulnerability, even our fragility. How can we know strength without knowing frailty?

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