BREAKOUT SESSIONS & DESCRIPTIONS
“The dry formal lecture never, or at any rate rarely, touches the heart, but it is in [the] conversational method of the seminar … that the enthusiasm of the teacher becomes contagious.” – Sir William Osler
Sunday, October 21– Sessions A & B
Each session is offered twice.
APPLYING THE NEW SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS – David Sobel, MD, MPH
Are happier people healthier? When can you be happier? Can money increase happiness (hint: yes and no)? How can “savoring the small stuff” enhance well-being? How can you, your family and your patients apply the new science to be measurably happier and healthier? Dr. Sobel will address these questions and facilitate the discussion which is sure to follow.
COPING STRATEGIES AND NUTRITION IN THE WORKPLACE – Jane Lemaire, MD
Please join Dr. Lemaire to hear about the various types of coping skills used by physicians, and how these coping strategies may relate, either positively or negatively, to emotional exhaustion. In addition, the impact of poor workplace nutrition upon physician wellness and cognitive function will be explored.
FOOD AS MEDICINE: HOW TO MAKE IT REAL – Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN
Food provides more than just calories. If we are open to it, it can provide us with an experience to integrate mind, heart, and spirit. Come learn the 7 steps to making food and eating the gateway to nourishment for all aspects of your life!
LEARN THE SECRETS OF SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE – Nancy Pando, LICSW
Knowing one’s hard-wiring is a critical place to start. However, it is not enough. Social intelligence lies in one’s ability to relate to others. Identifying the traits and characteristics of how others are hard-wired can lead to an understanding of how people both differ and complement each other. The critical difference between “can’t” and “won’t” ultimately enhances perception and judgment of others. In this engaging workshop you will come to understand the people in your life like never before.
MEDITATION AND THE INNER LIFE: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PRACTICE – Elliott Dacher, MD
Throughout time and across cultures, wise healers have discovered and time-tested the knowledge and practices that enable each of us to create a healthy and happy life characterized by the alleviation of stress and anxiety, the enhancement of personal relationships, and the emergence of an inner-based happiness, peace, and well-being. Uniquely logical, evidence-based, and non-religious, this introductory session will explore and teach the skills of meditation and mind training. With proper instructions, effort, and practice every individual can calm the mind and discover a profound inner life, enabling a richer personal and professional life. Osler, speaking of the two educations of a physician, said, “The one … will make you a practitioner of medicine; the other, an inner education, may make you a truly good man ... What I hope to infect you with is to have a due proportion of each.”
Monday, October 22 – Sessions C & D
Each session is offered twice.
CRITICAL MASS AND THE REFORMATION OF MEDICINE…IT’S TIME – Edwin Leap, MD
In this interactive session, Dr. Leap will begin by making some brief parallels about the Protestant Reformation, and why men like Luther and Calvin thought it necessary (not to end the church but make it better). Participants will be asked what things they believe need to be changed so that medicine can have a “reformation” of its own. Using low-tech flip chart and markers, a “list of theses” will be created along with simple suggestions for change. At the end, Dr. Leap will take those, create a document and give it to everyone so that they can go and “nail it to the door of the cathedral” by delivering it to administrators, legislators and colleagues. “This will be an enjoyable, even entertaining, exercise where everyone comes away with some ownership of the project.”
KEEP CARING WITHOUT GIVING UP: THE MAGIC OF MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING
– Murat Akalin, MD, MPH
Tired of working with patients to change their behaviors and getting nowhere? Are you willing to consider changing your own fundamental stance toward patients and their health behaviors? If so, Motivational Interviewing can help both you and your patients. Motivational Interviewing relies on the principle of Radical Acceptance and draws on principles of Mindfulness to create an entirely new way of working with patients engaged in unhealthy behaviors. Smoking, substance abuse, alcoholism, sedentary lifestyle, overeating, treatment non-adherence: all of these common and chronic problems can be addressed more effectively—and with more personal satisfaction and joy for the physician—through Motivational Interviewing…a technique that has the power to breathe new life into some of your most draining clinical encounters.
MEDICAL MARRIAGES AND OTHER INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS – Michael Myers, MD
This breakout session will be entirely interactive and will build on key points covered in the didactic lecture. There will be two educational events. First, using disguised and composite examples of medical couples from my practice, I will engage the participants in group dialogue and creative problem-solving. Second, role plays of common challenges in doctors’ marriages will also be used; this is more experiential and usually a lot of fun.
PRACTICAL ATTACHMENTS: 3 SKILLS FOR BOND-BUILDING – Kai MacDonald, MD
Social neuroscience, in exploring the neurobiology of human bonds, can inform a meaningful medical practice. This workshop will strike a balance between a lively review of the social neuroscience of empathy and the implementation and practice of bond-building skills derived from this field. Participants will leave with three neuroscience-informed skills to anchor connections with patients in the social and relational brain.
REFLECTIVE WRITING AND HEALING – Johanna Shapiro, PhD
In this session, we will first briefly explore the goals of reflective writing, including deepening understanding of other perspectives, finding meaning, and identifying transformative and confirmatory learning. We will then practice different forms of reflective writing such as point-of-view writing, letter-writing, and mindful writing.
Tuesday, October 23 – Sessions E & F
Each session is offered twice.
DIRECT PRIMARY CARE (OR RETAINER MEDICINE): PRACTICING MEDICINE THE WAY WE THOUGHT WE WOULD – Murray Buttner, MD
Direct Primary Care is an option to consider for those who are unhappy working in our third-party payer system. It’s certainly worth exploring before leaving clinical medicine altogether. Dr. Buttner, a practicing family doctor who took the plunge, will lead an open discussion of practicing medicine outside of the insurance model. He will discuss how to make the transition, pitfalls to be aware of, and the joy and fulfillment he has experienced since opening his new practice.
THE DOCTOR AS SPIRITUAL GUIDE – Thomas Moore
In the ordinary Western mindset, a doctor takes care of the body and others tend to the psyche and spirit. But you can’t split a person into parts that way. A patient’s spirituality is always implicated in illness, maybe more so there than in other parts of life. Patients often look to the doctor for spiritual guidance, correctly understanding that you really can’t tend a human being’s suffering and leave out the spirit. A doctor may think that the spiritual is not within his purview or that she isn’t qualified to address it. In this session, doctors will be encouraged to find it in themselves to speak to spiritual concerns of patients at least in a small way, and guidance will be offered to help doctors prepare themselves for this aspect. Thomas Moore will call to mind physicians in other cultures who are necessarily spiritual guides, too. Besides, if a doctor were to speak to the spirit and soul as well as the body, the doctor would have a much richer experience and would be less likely to suffer a setback in morale. In other words, it would be good for patients and doctors. This session is meant to inspire and educate doctors in this exciting area of medicine.
MEDICAL VOLUNTEERISM 101: GIVING BACK – PLANNING YOUR SERVICE TRIP
– Karen Van Hoesen, MD
For the person who has everything, what do you give to yourself and the rest of humanity? We finally have obtained the successful career, the house, and the family, yet we feel an emptiness—that emptiness is service, the need to give back to humanity. But you don’t know where to look to start to volunteer your time and talent? In this workshop we will explore that inner desire to give back, how to fulfill that need for service and your options for volunteering both locally and abroad. “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received, and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” –Mother Teresa
MEDICINE AND COMPASSION – David Shlim, MD
In our culture, compassion is often viewed as a character trait, something that can’t be increased or decreased very much. In medicine, we encourage compassion, but there is no tradition of actually training to increase one’s capacity for compassion. In this workshop, we will explore the nature of compassion, by investigating whether it is something intrinsic to our very nature, or something that has to be added. In Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, compassion is said to be our natural state of mind, and we are naturally more compassionate when our mind is relaxed. Training in compassion is based on removing the obstacles that obscure our natural compassion. Meditation, in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, is not simply a way to gain a moment’s relaxation: it is an active exploration of our own consciousness, including the nature of thoughts and emotions. This allows us to cultivate a way to let go of our own disturbing emotions. The result is a natural and more effortless ability to focus on relieving the suffering of others. This workshop will explore compassion both philosophically and through an introduction to meditation.
YOGA YOU CAN DO DURING THE WORKDAY–FOR THE EVERYDAY CLINICIAN – Satkirin Khalsa, MD
What is yoga? Dr. Khalsa will teach the participants yoga postures that can be performed without a studio, mat, or purple spandex – focusing on modifications of postures for clinic, in a chair, against the wall or desk. Postures will be reviewed and benefits described, per the literature. Participants will have the opportunity to experience modifications of postures in different settings. Modified use of props will be incorporated as needed. Dr. Khalsa will also review and demonstrate postures that can be used in the clinic for patient care.