This 5-day, retreat-like workshop designed to enable clinicians and medical educators deepen their skills in mindful practice, advance their teaching skills, and implement Mindful Practice® programs at their home institutions. Mindful Practice promotes effective, efficient and compassionate care while also improving clinicians' own resilience and well-being by building clinicians' attentiveness, situational awareness, self-awareness, teamwork, and self-monitoring in stressful and demanding clinical situations. The workshop helps participants define and realize their learning goals in an experiential learning environment.
Mindful Practice®: what it is
Mindful Practice programs include interactive presentations, workshops, and seminars for physicians, trainees, other health professionals and medical educators. They are built on a strong bio-psychosocial foundation and contain three major components – mindfulness meditation, narrative medicine, and appreciative inquiry – each integrated with the others into a seamless approach. Mindful practice depends on developing a capacity for mindfulness. Mindfulness is a naturally occurring human capacity, not just restricted to meditation or other "mindfulness-based" interventions such as mindfulness-based stress reduction or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Mindfulness can be cultivated through various means including meditative exercises, physical activity, narrative, dialogue, poetry, and music. Mindful practice workshops use a set of contemplative practices that orient and inform other approaches. such as narrative and appreciative inquiry, to bring mindfulness to the clinical enterprise. Mindful Practice® curricula are specifically focused on three linked goals: Improving quality of care, quality of caring, and improving physician well-being and resilience.
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. Though physicians have written powerful narratives of such experiences, they also often report that “being there” is 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 help them to be attentive, curious, flexible, and present.
Mindful Practice for Medical Clinicians
Designed for medical practitioners (physicians, NPs, PAs) and others involved in medical practice and medical education, this is a participatory, hands-on program that combines didactic presentations and hands-on training in conducting experiential exercises using narratives, appreciative inquiry, and contemplative practices such as mindfulness meditation. It also provides guidance in teaching and facilitation skills in large- and small-group settings, and incorporation of mindful practice programs into medical education and healthcare institutions.
Foundations of facilitations skills
Facilitation of Mindful Practice workshops involves several sets of interrelated skills. For each of these skill we expect participants to show a certain background as stated below:
- Experience with contemplative practices. Facilitators should have a personal practice that incorporates regular contemplative practice, on a daily basis, for at least two years. This practice provides the grounding for teaching of mindfulness meditation, body scan and other contemplative exercises.
- Small group facilitation skills. Facilitators need skill and experience with small group learning, including a learner-centered orientation, framing tasks appropriately, adopting an inquiry-oriented approach, using learners’ experiences to enrich discussion, making sure each person is heard, providing closure, dealing with challenging learners, addressing conflict when it arises, and providing effective feedback. In our training workshops, we count on potential facilitators as having had some of that background, which we will then augment.
- Experience with narrative medicine. The use of stories written by workshop participants is integral to our work.
- Appreciative inquiry skills. Appreciative inquiry training can be accomplished during our workshops as well as a variety of leadership workshops in medicine.
At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:
- Articulate principles of and evidence supporting mindful practice programs.
- Demonstrate skills in introducing, guiding, and embodying individual contemplative practices.
- Demonstrate skills in introducing and conducting key interpersonal elements of mindful practice programs, including salon, narrative exercises, appreciative interviews, and inquiry.
- Demonstrate teaching and facilitation skills in large-group and small-group settings.
- Demonstrate how to anticipate and respond to commonly encountered learner difficulties during mindful practice programs.
- Describe ways of incorporating mindful practice into healthcare institutions.
Session themes address attention, suffering, teamwork, difficult conversations with patients/families, uncertainty in medicine, medical education, grief and loss, resilience and compassion.
The facilitation training will offer hands-on experience in teaching and facilitation. It is designed for those who wish to advance their teaching skills and to support efforts at implementing Mindful Practice® curricula in their own settings. Course is by application only after registration through the webform below.
We expect participants to have done themselves the 4-day Mindful Practice workshop before. And to show sufficient background in the four areas mentioned above (experience with contemplative practice, small group facilitation skills, experience with narrative medicine, appreciative inquiry skills). To be eligible for this workshop you should have:
- At least 2 years or 200 hours of regular meditation practice.
- Attendance at a prior Mindful Practice® workshop of 20 hours or more (This requirement can only be fulfilled by having attended a residential 3- or 4-day Mindful Practice® Workshop at the Chapin Mill retreat center, or similar workshops in Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong or the Netherlands)
- Experience in teaching health professions students, residents and/or practitioners.
The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Accreditations in the Netherlands are being sollicited.
The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live activity for a maximum of 31.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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