Blog | Monday, February 27, 2012

QD: News Every Day--Mindfulness in palliative care

Palliative care is an emotionally tough field for physicians and even more so for pediatricians. One coping mechanism is mindfulness, a way of remaining involved and aware of interacting with patients, yet detached just enough to allow for proper decision-making.

The goal of mindfulness is to act and be aware of acting at the same time, which creates a slight mental space that allows the physician to choose how he or she responds, instead of reacting, judging or lashing out.

This video comes from Stephen Liben, MD, a self-described "Buddh-ish" pediatric palliative care doctor, and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University and Director of the Montreal Children's Hospital Pediatric Palliative Care Program. It comes via Canadian Virtual Hospice's YouTube channel.

Dr. Liben's take-home message is that mindfulness helps physicians cope with burnout and other side effects of becoming emotionally invested with patients. More learning mindfulness for internists is available here.