- To foster skills of attentive observation, critical curiosity, beginner’s mind, and presence
- To foster caring and compassion toward patients
- To promote professionalism, reduce bias and promote equity
- To promote clinician flourishing—a sense of purpose and meaning, and resilience and well-being
- To respond appropriately to error-prone situations and medical errors
- To help clinicians respond more appropriately to errors, grief and loss, and conflict
- To help create mindful organizations that support teamwork, mindfulness, and clinician health and well-being
Mindful Practice® workshops are multiple days and offer an immersive experience. Learn more about upcoming workshops.
- 2-day workshops. An experiential introduction to Mindful Practice® targeted to students, medical center faculty, conference attendees, or members of a healthcare organization. They provide 14 CME hours
- 2-day workshops with 4 subsequent webinars. 2-day (14-hour) workshops are coupled with four 90-minute live online sessions for a total of 19 CME hours that provide an introduction to Mindful Practice without the time commitment of the 4-day residential workshops.
- 4-day residential workshops. Ideally offered at a retreat center or conference center, these offer an intensive introduction to Mindful Practice® in a residential setting with comfortable facilities. They offer 23 CME hours.
- Being present, attentive, and curious, and adopting a beginner’s mind, even in difficult moments in clinical practice and teaching
- Being emotionally aware and responding mindfully to difficult moments in professional work
Ronald Epstein, MD, FAAHPM
Program Co-Director, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology, and Medicine (Palliative Care) Co-Director, Center for Communication and Disparities Research Co-Director, Deans Teaching Fellowship Co-Director, Mindful Practice Programs University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Dr. Ron Epstein has been passionately devoted to promoting physician self-awareness, mindfulness and effective communication in clinical practice. He is a family physician and palliative care physician and now devotes the majority of his time teaching, researching, and writing about communication and mindfulness in clinical care.
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Epstein has developed innovative educational programs in mindful practice, communication skills, the patient-physician relationship, physician self-awareness and assessment of professional competence. His seminal 1999 JAMA paper, Mindful Practice, opened the door to exploring how clinician mindfulness can positively influence the clinician-physician relationship, resilience and quality of care. With Mick Krasner, Dr. Epstein co-directs Mindful Practice programs at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine (Palliative Care). He also Director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and co-directs the Deans Teaching Fellowship program.
Dr. Epstein graduated from Wesleyan University (1976) and Harvard Medical School (1984). Honors include the George Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar Award at the University of Rochester, the Lynn Payer Award from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare for lifetime achievement in research on communication and health and the humanism awards from the New York Academy of Medicine, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. He has been a two-time Fulbright scholar in Spain and a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney and at the Brocher Foundation in Switzerland. He is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s highest award, The Clinical Research Professor Award. Dr. Epstein is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences on medical education, communication, and mindfulness, and has published over 250 articles and chapters; his first book, "Attending" was released in 2017. He enjoys playing the harpsichord, cooking, and cycling and cross-country skiing.
Mick Krasner, MD, FACP
Program Co-Director, Professor of Clinical Medicine Co-Director, Mindful Practice Programs University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Dr. Mick Krasner, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, practices primary care internal medicine in Rochester, New York and co-directs the Mindful Practice programs at the University of Rochester. Dr. Krasner has been teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to patients, medical students, and health professionals for more than 18 years, involving several thousand participants, and over 1000 health professionals. Dr. Krasner is engaged in a variety of research projects including the investigations of the effects of mindfulness practices on the immune system in the elderly, on chronic psoriasis, with caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients and on medical student stress and well-being. He was the project director of Mindful Communication: Bringing Intention, Attention, and Reflection to Clinical Practice, sponsored by the New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians and funded by the Physicians Foundation for Health Systems Excellence and reported in JAMA in September, 2009. His current efforts focus on working with practicing physicians and medical educators on the cultivation of Mindful Practice, with a focus on the connection between health professional well-being and the effectiveness of the healing relationship.
Dr. Krasner graduated from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1987 and completed his residency in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where he is currently a full-time faculty member engaged in direct patient care, medical student and residency education, post-graduate medical education, and research in the University’s Center for Mind-Body Research. He has shared his work in peer-reviewed publications including research and reviews, book chapters, scientific assemblies, workshops, visiting professorships, and intensives in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, focusing primarily on the roots of Hippocratic medicine through the cultivation of attention, awareness, and reflection of the health professional-healing relationship. He describes his personal mission as centered on compassion in medicine- for the self and others, and envisions a personalized health professional-patient relationship where healing is truly bidirectional, care goals are mutually derived, and the uniqueness of the clinical encounter reflects this central act of mutual high regard.
Description of Programs
Mindful Practice® programs focus on promoting qualities exhibited by exemplary physicians and clinicians that include, but are not limited to:
- Attentive observation: Being able to observe without making judgments that would otherwise distort or diminish one’s capacity to understand. This quality helps clinicians to monitor their own biases, thoughts and emotions on a moment-to-moment basis, developing the capacity to “observe the observer,” and cultivating “the observing self.”
- Critical curiosity: Seeing novelty in all situations, including familiar ones, and tolerating ambiguity and uncertainty. Cultivating curiosity helps clinicians to avoid common cognitive biases that lead to medical errors, such premature closure or ignoring dis-confirming data. Curiosity also helps clinicians to see patients and families as unique individuals.
- Beginner’s mind: Opening the mind to fresh perspectives and considering more than one perspective simultaneously. This quality compensates for the mind’s tendency to consider a problem from a fixed perspective, and instead allows for the consideration of multiple diagnostic and therapeutic options.
- Presence: Being physically, mentally and emotionally present for patients, communicating an accurate understanding of the patient’s concerns and feelings back to the patient and acting with compassion. A critical part of presence includes the simultaneous self-awareness of the clinician’s own somatic, affective and cognitive experiences while engaging in the unfolding clinical dynamic. Presence is particularly challenging in demanding, fast-paced, and stressful clinical environments.
Mindful practice® programs offer strategies to enhance these qualities. In addition, participants find opportunities to share with each other their own strategies to help them to be attentive, curious, flexible, and present.
Three components that make up the core experience of Mindful Practice are:
- Formal and Informal Mindfulness Practices: Cultivation of an open, receptive, and non-judgmental orientation to one’s present experience, which helps promote physical, emotional and cognitive stability
- Narrative Medicine: Creation and sharing of reflective stories that explore the profound and meaningful experiences one has as a physician/clinician, which helps connect the clinician with sources of professionalism and satisfaction
- Appreciative Interviews: Based on Appreciative Inquiry, a strength-based approach to individual and organizational change that alters habitual patterns of thinking and behavior, to help participants discover capacities and resources within themselves for positive potential
Note: These in-person workshops are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gold Foundation is pleased to partner with Mindful Practice® to bring these workshops to our Gold Partners Council members at a discounted rate.
Hippocrates members: 10% discount
Blackwell members: 7% discount
Osler members: 5% discount
If you are unsure about your institution’s member level, please view our council member lists here:
> Medical schools
> Hospitals & Health systems
A portion of the fees associated with this program supports the continued work of the Gold Foundation.
FAQs about Mindful Practice
Why should my medical or nursing school consider holding a Mindful Practice® workshop?
Mindful Practice® workshops are evidence-based programs that offer skills for clinicians and leaders to respond more effectively to stresses in clinical practice, form better connections with their patients and colleagues, and be more attentive and thoughtful in their clinical practice.
What are the benefits?
Mindfulness and Mindful Practice® programs have been associated with lower clinician burnout and psychological distress, greater clinician well-being, more empathic and effective patient-clinician relationships, improved patient safety, lower implicit racial bias, fewer diagnostic errors, fewer medication errors, and better teamwork.
Are CME credits available?
Yes, for all of our programs.
Is a Mindful Practice® workshop suitable for a healthcare corporation team?
Absolutely. The same practices that promote clear intention, focused attention, critical curiosity, beginner’s mind and presence can promote effective leadership and teamwork, enhanced ability to deal with conflict and adversity, and lower rates of burnout, distress, and attrition.
What size group is ideal?
We offer workshops for as few as 10 and as many as 150 participants. For larger groups, we break out into smaller sub-groups for some of the exercises and discussion, each with a facilitator.
Who should attend such a workshop? Are they designed for a mix of roles (e.g., medical and nursing students of all years, faculty, deans, etc. or employees/leaders of various positions at a corporation) or is a single role ideal (e.g., just first-year medical students)?
Mindful Practice® workshops can be helpful for anyone in healthcare: clinicians, trainees, non-clinician staff, leadership. They can encompass academic medical centers, hospitals, clinics, and corporate settings. We alter the curricula to adapt to the needs of each group. Mixed groups are fine for many of the exercises; other have to be adapted because clinical contexts might be different. For example, errors, moral distress and conflicts may manifest differently for students, nurses, physicians and administrators. While entire work teams can participate, including leadership, we try to avoid pairing those in hierarchical and reporting relationships in exercises that might bring up personal information or bad outcomes.
How long is a typical workshop?
A 2-day immersion provides a depth of experience that cannot be achieved by shorter workshops. Sometimes we can break up the content into two 1-day experiences. In addition, a series of videoconferences after the in-person programs can reinforce content and maintain a supportive professional community. Longer 3- or 4-day workshops are available, some of which are residential.