Doctors Trained in Meditation and Communication Offer Better Care, Study Says

Training physicians in mindfulness meditation and communication skills can improve the quality of care, according to a new study from researchers the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Researchers found both primary care practitioners and their patients believed care was improved after the training, and the findings are published online in the journal “Academic Medicine,” reported.

“Programs focused on personal awareness and self-development are only part of the solution,” the researchers said. “Our health care delivery systems must implement systematic change at the practice level to create an environment that supports mindful practice, encourages transparent and clear communication among clinicians, staff, patients, and families and reduces professional isolation.”

The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 20 of the physicians who participated in the mindfulness-training program.

The findings in the new study include:

  • Sixty percent reported learning mindfulness skills improved their capacity to listen more attentively and respond more effectively to others at work and home.
  • More than half of the participants acknowledged having increased self-awareness and better ability to respond non-judgmentally during personal or professional conversations.
  • Seventy percent placed a high value on the mindfulness course having an organized, structured and well-defined curriculum with time and space to pause and reflect.

The researchers developed and implemented required mindful practice curricula for medical students and residents at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and are also studying the effects of an intensive, four-day residential course for physicians, according to the report.

Bernie Siegel, MD to Teach Yoga, Meditation to Doctors

The American Meditation Institute is offering the comprehensive mind-body medicine CME credit course on meditation and yoga for physicians and healthcare professionals under the direction of Leonard Perlmutter and Bernie Siegel, MD, on November 3-6, 2011 at the Cranwell Resort in Lenox, Mass.

Entitled ‘The Heart and Science of Yoga,’ the CME course is accredited by The Albany Medical College Office of Continuing Medical Education for 16 AMA Category 1 credits. Additional faculty members include Beth Netter, MD and Anita Burock-Stotts, MD.

Leonard Perlmutter is the founder of The American Meditation Institute (AMI) and the award-winning author of “The Heart and Science of Yoga: A Blueprint for Peace, Happiness and Freedom from Fear.” Additionally, since the 1970s, mind-body medicine pioneer Bernie Siegel, MD has worked with patients to help them heal and to deal with issues regarding disease and mortality. His first book, published in 1986, was the popularly acclaimed “Love, Medicine & Miracles.”

Noted physicians Mehmet Oz, Dean Ornish and Larry Dossey endorsed Perlmutter’s book, which serves as the curriculum for this mind-body medicine CME course. The course is accredited for physicians and nurses, and provides an introduction to the entire science of Yoga including meditation, breathing, Yoga psychology, easy-gentle yoga and a mind-body medicine care plan.

“By accrediting this meditation and yoga CME course, the Albany Medical College continues to be a progressive force in mind-body medicine,” Perlmutter said in a released statement. “This accreditation will provide many benefits for the health and wellbeing of physicians, healthcare professionals and their patients.”

A case study conducted by Beth Netter, MD, Chair of the AMI Medical Education Committee found individuals who practiced Perlmutter’s “Heart and Science of Yoga” teaching daily, experienced many positive, reproducible, long-term health-promoting changes, including lowered blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, increased breathing capacity, improved quality of sleep and significant reductions in stress and fear.

Physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals interested in attending the annual CME accredited event are encouraged to contact The American Meditation Institute in Averill Park, New York at