Mindfulness Training ProgramDear Medical Students and Residents,
We would like to invite you to a 6 week Mindfulness Training Program. This is an opportunity to develop a fundamental capacity of mind that is relevant to both professional competence and personal health. It addresses how you think, and how you feel.
What is mindfulness?
It is the ability to be aware of what we are doing, while we are doing it. It is an essential capacity we use constantly- both the ability to pay attention as we read this and the aspect of mind that notices when our attention is present, or has drifted away.
Why is this training relevant to my medical training?
The CanMEDS curriculum highlights the multiple roles in which the complete physician requires competence. In addition to being a medical expert, a physician must be able to manage one’s practice, communicate effectively and maintain one’s clinical proficiency. Professional and life balance is also considered essential in order to remain healthy and available to one’s patients.
Mindfulness practices are relevant to all of these objectives. Mindful practice enhances clinical practice and scholarly acumen by cultivating the ability to be present, attentive, open-minded and curious. Research shows that mindfulness training contributes to physician well-being and reduces the stress that leads to burnout.
Mindfulness training is particularly helpful in medicine both for the medical practitioner and also for patients- it is used to treat a host of stress related illnesses including hypertension, chronic pain, stress and anxiety disorders. Personal mindfulness training allows physicians to teach it to their patients.
Why is this training relevant to me in a broader sense?
Often we can be so focused on getting to the end of our training that we neglect our selves or lose touch with what is meaningful to us in our daily lives. The program provides an opportunity to step back, reflect and experience our life as we live it. The cultivation of mindful presence in the midst of our busy lives can be surprisingly enriching, as well as an antidote to stress.
What is the program being offered?
The 6 week course in Mindfulness teaches specific strategies for mindful living and health. These involve exercises in self-reflection (including mediation and yoga), communication and narrative-medicine. It is an adaptation and extension of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, founded at the University of Massachusetts 30 years ago that is now offered worldwide and integrated into the curricula of many North American medical schools. Patient safety, communication skills and professionalism are some of the curricular domains in which mindfulness is of benefit.
What is the cost?
The typical fee for this program is $750. However the Faculty of Health Sciences is underwriting the cost. The expectation is that the program will benefit those who enroll and ultimately their patients.
Who will be attending?
Medical students and postgraduate trainees.
Who are the teachers?
Beverly Blaney is a member of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry team at the Hotel Dieu Hospital. She has worked in the field of psychiatry for the past 20 years and has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Gestalt Therapy and Yoga. She has developed an integrated body/mind methodology for the treatment of Eating Disorders and Mood and Anxiety Disorders. She leads workshops in mindful living.
John Smythe is a practicing pediatric cardiologist who has studied mindfulness training for over 20 years. He has completed numerous meditation and mindfulness instructor programs including an internship in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts.
Below are a few links to relevant articles and a timetable for the course. Feel free to contact Beverly or John if you have any questions. In the meantime we’d suggest that if interested you register early by indicating your intention by email to either of us. NB Space is limited.
Beverly Blaney BA Med
John Smythe MD FRCPC
Mindfulness Training Program
Queens University School of Medicine
Dates for 2014 will be posted when available.
Tuesday sessions: Sydenham 5, Conference Room, HDH
NB: Enrollment is limited