Attending : Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity
Overview - The first book for the general public about mindfulness and medical practice, a groundbreaking, intimate exploration of how doctors think and what matters most--safe, effective, patient-centered, compassionate care--from the foremost expert in the field. Read more...
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More About Attending by M.D. Ronald Epstein
The first book for the general public about mindfulness and medical practice, a groundbreaking, intimate exploration of how doctors think and what matters most--safe, effective, patient-centered, compassionate care--from the foremost expert in the field.
As a third-year Harvard Medical School student doing a clinical rotation in surgery, Ronald Epstein watched an error unfold: an experienced surgeon failed to notice his patient's kidney turning an ominous shade of blue. In that same rotation, Epstein was awestruck by another surgeon's ability to avert an impending disaster, slowing down from autopilot to intentionality. The difference between these two doctors left a lasting impression on Epstein and set the stage for his life's work--to identify the qualities and habits that distinguish masterful doctors from those who are merely competent. The secret, he learned, was mindfulness.
, his first book, Dr. Epstein builds on his world-renowned, innovative programs in mindful practice and uses gripping and deeply human clinical stories to give patients a language to describe what they value most in health care and to outline a road map for doctors and other health care professionals to refocus their approach to medicine. Drawing on his clinical experiences and current research, and exploring four foundations of mindfulness--Attention, Curiosity, Beginner's Mind, and Presence--Dr. Epstein introduces a revolutionary concept: by looking inward, health care practitioners can grow their capacity to provide high-quality care and the resilience to be there when their patients need them.
The commodification of health care has shifted doctors' focus away from the healing of patients to the bottom line. Clinician burnout is at an all-time high. Attending
is the antidote. With compassion and intelligence, Epstein offers a crucial, timely book that shows us how we can restore humanity to medicine, guides us toward a better overall quality of care, and reminds us of what matters most.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Epstein, a family physician and professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, expands on his landmark 1999 essay in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which called for mindful practice on the part of physicians. Here he makes the case for using mindful practice to save both a medical profession in crisis and patients who are falling victim to the fragmentation of the health care system. Citing examples from his own practice, Epstein shows how taking time to pay attention to patients can lead to better outcomes on both sides of the stethoscope. He writes of one woman whose deteriorating health left him feeling helpless; after her recovery, she confessed that his uncertainty was reassuring: At least, she said, I knew you were being honest. Being mindful, Epstein states, is a moral choice for physicians. He also condemns the health care system and a culture of medicine that puts clinicians in morally compromising situations with electronic health record systems that are sculpted around billing rather than good patient care, and increased pressure on doctors to see more patients without regard to quality. Epsteins treatise should be required reading for physicians, and it is also of vital interest to the patients in their care. (Feb.)