Mindfulness, MD represents the natural progression of a mindfulness project a colleague and I created during our third year of medical school.
My colleague, Andy, and I were working with patients undergoing treatment for opiate addiction when we conceived of a mindfulness workshop.
We designed a brochure that summarized three simple mindfulness exercises based on work done by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts. The brochure was intended to serve as an introduction to mindfulness practice.
Andy and I took our patients through the three exercises in a workshop format that encouraged an open dialogue among participants.
Our mindfulness workshops were well received, and before we left the rotation we conducted a workshop for the clinic staff at their annual retreat. The mindfulness exercises were just as beneficial for the health professionals as they were for the patients dealing with the more concrete problem of addiction.
After the rotation ended I felt that my work was incomplete. From discussions with patients and medical professionals during our workshops, it was clear that there was both a place and a need for mindfulness in medicine. And despite the vast number of resources on the Internet, I couldn’t find a centralized site that provided all the necessary components for starting a mindfulness practice.
My mother-in-law, Jane Ann, recommended that I start a site of my own to fill the gap in digital materials. Jane Ann gave me the copy of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now that initiated my own philosophical inquiry, so to say that I trusted her counsel is an understatement. With Jane Ann’s guidance I created MindfulnessMD.com. I have now completed medical school and I am a psychiatric resident.
I have been lucky enough to run multiple seminars on the neuroscience of mindfulness and have included the informational handouts as a new tab on my homepage (see Neuroanatomy tab).
I have included the original brochure (see Exercises tab), prompts (see Introduction tab), and scientific research (see Science tab) so that the reader may view the foundation that Mindfulness, MD was built on.
My posts are conceived as quarterly self-contained discussions of one aspect of mindfulness. I often reference my own life to provide examples for the reader to appreciate mindfulness (or mindlessness) in action.
My wife, Hayley, who is a fellow physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, graciously contributes to and edits all of my posts. She is an inspiration, a sounding board, and a core contributor to all of my articles. Without Hayley’s contributions there would be no MindfulnessMD.
Mindfulness is a discipline that dates back at least three millennia. Countless philosophies and cultures have dealt with the topic in eloquent and novel ways. I am inspired by a large number of writers and wish to emphasize the debt I feel to their various works. If the reader is interested in learning more about my literary influences they can navigate to the Mindful Reading tab. The Mindful Reading page contains reviews of my “mindfulness practitioner’s starter kit.”
My writing is my own. It is a personal interpretation of that which I have read, practiced, and been trained in.
I hope that the reader agrees that what began as a simple workshop necessitated this expansion into the digital realm. If even one reader is inspired to begin a mindfulness practice, then I have succeeded by my own standard.
Mindfulness, MD is not meant to be a substitute for professional help. If you or a loved one is suffering from mental illness please seek the care of a medical professional. Mental illness is a serious medical condition that can be successfully treated with the right help.