Compassion In Action Archive

What’s Trust Have to Do with Compassion?

Presented by:
  • Daniel Wolfson MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

As EVP & COO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, Daniel Wolfson leads the Choosing Wisely® campaign, a vast multi-year effort to promote conversations between clinicians and patients about how to avoid care that may be unnecessary and could cause harm. Such conversations, and such care, rely on a relationship of trust between patient and clinician. During this webinar, we’ll hear from Mr. Wolfson about how and why the ABIM Foundation came to lead this effort, explore the relationship between trust and compassion, and consider ways to build and rebuild trust in healthcare. After his presentation, Mr. Wolfson will be joined in conversation by Schwartz Center CMO Beth Lown, MD.

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Empathy & Emotion Regulation: Training complementary skills for well-being”

Presented by:
  • Tammi Kral MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
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The Power of Patient Perspectives

Presented by:
  • Greg Makoul MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
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Creating A Culture of Caring

Presented by:
  • Rana Awdish MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
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A Culture of Safety is a Culture of Compassion

Presented by:
  • Patricia A. McGaffigan MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

At the heart of healthcare is our purpose and moral duty to provide the highest quality, safest and most compassionate care to all of our patients, families and colleagues. Yet so often, our best intentions to ensure compassionate care are thwarted by many reasons – some pernicious, some explicit – but most of which relate to macro- and microsystems that lack a full commitment to a culture of safety as not only our priority, but our purpose. This presentation will illuminate several of the root causes and challenges to creating and sustaining a culture of safety, as well as the importance of a total systems approach to safety that is pre-conditional for compassionate care. Designed for all audiences (including healthcare professionals, executives, patient and family members, patient and family advocates and experience professionals, and others), this webinar will provide participants with meaningful recommendations and resources to accelerate and sustain a culture of safety and optimize compassionate care.

In this presentation, Patricia teaches participants how to characterize the relationship between a culture of safety, patient and workforce safety and compassionate care, identify at least three detractors and three critical success factors that are related to a culture of safety and finally, apply at least one essential recommendation to their patient safety and workforce safety activities or programs that may optimize compassionate care in their organization.

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Awakening Compassion in the Social Architecture of Health Care Organizations

Presented by:
  • Monica C. Worline MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

This webinar will inspire ideas for awakening compassion at the organizational and system levels in health care. While more and more evidence mounts that compassion matters for people doing the work of providing health care—it increases safety, promotes learning, prevents burnout, and fosters collaboration—our organizations and systems are often poorly set up to make compassion part of our everyday working lives. Monica Worline and Jane Dutton, authors of the new book Awakening Compassion at Work, draw from over 15 years of research on compassion in organizations to offer an accessible and practical framework for understanding how to awaken compassion across organizations and systems in a more competent and sustainable fashion. They have developed a research-grounded framework they refer to as the “social architecture” of organizations and they show how tapping into this social architecture can inspire new ways of bringing compassion into workplaces. Going beyond just culture and values, this webinar will invite you to consider your organization’s network ties, role definitions, and routines as keys to fostering more compassion. Monica will introduce the social architecture framework and illustrate it with stories and examples of how it can be used in any organization to inspire change. We will conclude with a blueprint of generative questions and ideas for awakening compassion by understanding and using the social architecture your system.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define the social architecture of an organization and explain its relevance to promoting compassion in work environments
  • Articulate an evidence-based case for focusing on compassion at the organization and system level in health care
  • Engage in creative and generative conversations that foster awakening compassion in organizations beyond a focus on culture and values to include change in an organizations network structures, role definitions and role crafting, and routines
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Compassion Integration: Connecting Hearts and Minds with Action

Presented by:
  • Becca Hawkins MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Mark Rosenberg MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

This webinar will describe the process that Providence St. Joseph Health has undertaken toward embedding compassion in the culture of the organization. Rebecca and Dr. Rosenberg will take you through their compassion journey, articulating successes and barriers to this work. They will describe how a message integrating suffering, compassion and burnout resonated with leadership and caregivers. In addition, they will demonstrate how creating collaboration and synergy among key partners facilitated the incorporation of compassion into clinical services, quality, high reliability and several work strands of human resources. Finally, they will include specific examples of compassion innovations that have been particularly impactful.

In this presentation, Becca and Dr. Rosenberg describe key concepts connecting suffering, compassion and burnout, discuss the integration and collaboration process for embedding compassion in a system and finally, adapt compassion innovations to their own healthcare system’s needs.

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Connecting to Care: Promoting Compassion through Staff Self-Discovery and Engagement

Presented by:
  • Harris Baden MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Learn about how one of the country’s leading children’s hospitals has prioritized compassionate, collaborative care to enhance the experience of care for patients and families by enriching the experience of care for staff. The journey includes the initial program developed by doctors, for doctors, to optimize connections with patients and families, which then evolved into an institution-wide effort to promote and support a culture of compassion for patients, families and staff. Through a process called facilitated self-discovery, Dr. Baden and his team have worked to promote presence and empathy in all interactions, with a belief that this increases fulfillment and resiliency and thereby mitigates burnout. The process requires genuine commitment from hospital leadership that integrates well with their existing commitments to family-centered care, continuous improvement (Lean), safety (high-reliability) and staff well-being.

In this presentation, Dr. Baden teaches participants how to recognize the value of focusing on staff satisfaction and well-being to promote a culture of compassion in their organization and how to understand the importance of engaging staff through facilitated self-discovery to develop effective and sustainable strategies and solutions.

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Creating a Culture of Compassion Using Appreciative Inquiry

Presented by:
  • Harry (Bud) Issacson MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Richard Frankel MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Richard Frankel is professor of Medicine and Geriatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine(IUSM) and a staff member in the Education institute of Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Frankel is a medical educator and health services researcher who has spent the past 35 years focusing on strategies to improve communication and relationships between individual doctors and patients and more recently in teams and organizations. He has consulted to a number of large medical organizations on ways to transform their culture based on their positive accomplishments. He is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Professionalism Council and at IUSM leads the ASPIRE (Advanced Scholars Program for Internists in Research and Education).

Harry (Bud) Isaacson, MD, FACP is the Assistant Dean for Clinical Education and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM). He currently oversees all clinical training for CCLCM and co-directs the “Foundations of Clinical Medicine Course”. In addition he serves Chair of the Professionalism Council and a member of the Board of Governors at Cleveland Clinic . He helped develop and lead a new Cleveland Clinic on-boarding program in 2011 which includes the “To Act as a Unit” series on professionalism Dr. Isaacson is currently leading an effort to enhance the Annual Professional Review (APR) at Cleveland Clinic using Appreciative Inquiry. He has led the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s Roundtable on Professionalism for 5 years and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Service economies, like healthcare, are relationship-based and sensitive to the local cultural context in which they operate. In the 1980’s, David Cooperrider, a professor at Case Western University and a student of organizational behavior, noted that when organizations focused on what they were doing well, and how to get more of it, the quality of both goods and services improved. Dubbed “Appreciative Inquiry” (AI), this positive approach to organizational culture has grown exponentially and there is evidence to show that it is good for both employees and the bottom line.

In this webinar, we will review the history of AI and focus especially on the use of appreciative story telling as an organizational culture change strategy. We will also illustrate some simple techniques for bringing AI to participants’ organizations with optimal chances for success.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between production- and relationship based organizational culture
  • Understand the role and power of story-telling in organizational work life
  • Immediately implement one or more appreciative practices in their workplace

Resilience on the Front Lines of Care: Organizational Strategies to Foster Compassion and Sustain Resilience in the Face of Trauma and Emotional Suffering

Presented by:
  • Micheline St-Hilaire MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Micheline St-Hilaire teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self Compassion, Compassion Cultivation Training and a variety of tailor-made mindfulness-based programs. As director of strategic initiatives and innovation with the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba, she consults for a wide range of organizations to foster resilience in support of personal, interpersonal and organizational well-being. Micheline co-founded the Compassion Project in 2010, an organizational change and development process aimed at co-creating the conditions for compassion to flourish in health and human service.

The Compassion Project, a contemporary contemplative pathway designed as an initial step to organizational change and development, will be presented. It serves as an effort to begin to re-found the heart of health and human service and nurture resilience and healing intra-personally, interpersonally, and organizationally.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Explore sources of depletion and learning in health and human service
  • Identify ways to co-create the conditions for meaning, purpose and service to flourish in our workplaces and beyond
  • Explore the relationship between personal, interpersonal and organizational health and wellness
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Active Listening: Lost Art or Learnable Skill?

Presented by:
  • Abraham Fuks MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Patients continually indicate that their ideal clinician is one who listens. At the same time, the complaint that “doctors do not listen” is ubiquitous. This webinar explores this apparent paradox by addressing what listening actually is in clinical settings, its importance and impact and whether listening can be taught and learned.

During this webinar, Dr. Fuks teaches us what listening is in clinical settings and its function in clinical interactions, as well as why listening is the foundation of the clinical method. He also explains the different types of “deafness” found among caregivers and their causes. Finally, he instructs us how to teach clinical listening skills.

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Compassionate Care Across Cultures and Languages: Finding Common Ground

Presented by:
  • Alexander R. Green MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Providing care to patients whose cultures and languages are different from our own can be difficult. Patients come with different beliefs, values and styles of communication. Some patients distrust the health care system or health care providers – attitudes which they may assert strongly, or keep hidden. Language barriers add another layer of potential misunderstanding. This webinar presents an overview of cross-cultural issues in health care and the role of empathy and compassion in addressing them. We explore case studies and reflect on effective approaches to providing compassionate, person-centered care to patients of all cultural backgrounds.

During this webinar, Dr. Green allows us to reflect on the role of empathy in cross-cultural care and understand the types of cross-cultural issues that can be a challenge to empathic care. Finally, he describes how we can improve health care providers’ communication and trust-building skills in diverse populations.

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Conversations That Count: Improving Care for Patients with Serious Illness Through Engagement of Providers and Patients

Presented by:
  • Eliza "Pippa" Schulman MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

This presentation tells an engaging story of discovery, occasional failure and growing success in improving care for patients with advancing serious illness while achieving triple aim improvement. Dr. Shulman and her colleagues’ strategy combines data, education and workflow optimization to dramatically improve advance care planning. In order to take the next step and engage providers, patients and families in difficult conversations, Dr. Shulman and her colleagues teamed up with the Serious Illness Conversation Project to provide a structured tool and coaching for their teams to push their organization closer to providing goal-concordant care for their patients with serious illnesses. Their results are measurable and dramatic, and while they still have a long way to go, they are seeing a change in their practice that goes beyond metrics.

During this webinar, Dr. Schulman allows participants to identify the importance of conversation as part of comprehensive advance care planning and how challenging this can be for providers. She also allows participants to understand the need for a multifaceted approach to education and training of primary care teams and the importance of a team-based approach, with diversity of skills, for advance care planning.

Conversations Without Words: Using Nonverbal Communication to Improve the Patient-Caregiver Relationship

Presented by:
  • Judith A. Hall MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

How a clinician behaves through nonverbal signals and style has an impact on patients and is considered an important component of patient-centeredness. Similarly, the clinician’s skills in accurately perceiving the patient (for example, the patient’s emotions, health experiences, needs, expectations or personality) are important for diagnosis, decision making and creating a wholesome relationship. Nonverbal skills can be improved through practice, insight and training interventions.

During this webinar, Judith discusses the importance of nonverbal communication in clinical and personal interactions, and reviews the supporting research evidence from social psychology and medicine. Tips from this webinar can be used for improving interpersonal perception skills in clinical situations.

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Cultivating Compassion and Avoiding Burnout

Presented by:
  • Sharon Salzberg MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Life is constantly changing. And life in health care is changing at an unprecedented pace. Sharon Salzberg, meditation teacher and renowned author, teaches us that in the midst of such change, there is not only uncertainty but also endless possibility and movement. To the question, “Can compassion be learned?” she responds with a resounding, “Yes!” Sometimes, all it takes is truly paying attention to the people around us. By paying attention to our experiences with sensitivity, we open our minds and our hearts, and understand how our actions affect others.

During this webinar, Sharon teaches us balanced ways of paying attention as a gateway to compassion. She explains the distinctions between empathy and compassion and why compassion for self and others is important in preventing burnout. Finally, she invites participants to experience a brief, secular compassion meditation as a method of transforming our worldview into one that acknowledges our fundamental connectedness.

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Listening for What Matters: Lessons about Caring from Concealed Recordings of Medical Encounters

Presented by:
  • Saul J. Weiner MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Perhaps the most impactful approach to caring is to first recognize and ask about clues that patients are struggling to take care of their health, and then to adapt care to their particular needs and circumstances. For over a decade, Dr. Weiner’s research team has explored this two-step process, which they term “contextualizing care.”

In the first phase of their research, they trained a team of actors as unannounced standardized patients who would see a physician and indicate that personal struggles were undermining their health care. In the second phase they invited real patients with complex chronic conditions to audio record their visits. Encounters were sorted according to whether the care plan was contextualized, and then patients were followed for up to nine months. When clinicians made the effort to contextualize care, patients had better healthcare outcomes and there was less overuse and misuse of medical services. Remarkably, contextualizing care didn’t lengthen the visit. Dr. Weiner extended the research to include nursing, pharmacists and front desk clerks. During this webinar, he describes evidence that shows that listening, asking purpose-driven questions and adapting care plans to meet patients’ needs really does matter.

During this webinar, Dr. Weiner helps participants to describe the essential role of patient context in planning appropriate care, define “contextualized care” and its antonym “contextual error” and outline the implications for healthcare outcomes and cost of attending to patient context during the medical encounter.

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Maximizing the Power of Relationships: Taking Care of Ourselves and Others

Presented by:
  • Beth Lown MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Want to learn more about how to care for your patients and their families while taking care of yourself? View Dr. Beth Lown’s webinar, the first in our monthly webinar series on the concepts and skills you need to thrive in today’s health care environment.

Dr. Lown will introduce a framework of essential skills that put compassion and collaboration into practice and help you relate to patients, families and your coworkers more effectively. She’ll discuss some of the exciting new research on compassion, which demonstrates that we can learn to improve these essential skills, and she’ll talk about how compassion can help prevent burnout.

It would be beneficial to watch this webinar for context before watching the others in this series. Each monthly webinar will highlight one of the skills introduced in this session.

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Predictors for Compassionate Care

Presented by:
  • Colleen F. Manning MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

This presentation presents the results of an independent study (commissioned by the Schwartz Center) of the predictors of compassionate care, including attendance at Schwartz Rounds™.

In each of three sites, an online survey was conducted of all caregivers who were invited to attend Schwartz Rounds, whether they attended or not. The survey included questions about caregivers’ perceptions of success in providing compassionate care, teamwork related to compassionate care, the hospital’s support of compassionate caregiving and demographic information.

During this webinar, Colleen helps participants describe the Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale (SCCCS), a tool for measuring compassionate care, the predictors of compassionate healthcare and finally, describe what caregivers need to provide more compassionate healthcare.

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Sustainable Compassion for Health Professionals

Presented by:
  • Brooke D. Lavelle MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) is a method designed to empower people who work in all areas of care and service. SCT is designed to help people realize a power of unconditional care from within that is deeply healing and sustaining, that makes them more fully present to self and others, and that empowers a strong, active compassion for persons that is not subject to empathy fatigue and burnout. In this webinar, Dr. Lavelle explores methods for cultivating more sustainable care and compassion. She also considers systemic and organizational conditions that impede compassion and explores ways of creating the conditions necessary to support and sustain compassionate care for all.

During this webinar, Dr. Lavelle helps participants understand the importance of receiving care, self care and extending care for avoiding empathy fatigue and burnout, as well as obstacles to compassion and care at the individual and systems level. Dr. Lavelle also allow participants to apply tools for enhancing compassion and care in daily life and in the workplace.

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The Alchemy of Empathy and Compassion: Transforming Stress into Meaning at Work

Presented by:
  • Eve Ekman MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Empathy has the potential to be a catalyst for delivering truly individualized quality patient care, generating feelings of meaning in work for providers and for instigating sympathetic distress leading to stress and burnout. This talk navigates through the contemporary research to help us understand the phenomenon of the empathic connection from the fields of psychology (humanistic, social, health and contemplative), neuroscience and medical education in order to consider how, where and when to intervene to support our providers.

During this webinar, Eve helps us to develop a scientific understanding of emotion and burnout and learn about mapping an emotion episode. She also describes emotion regulation strategies and investigates personal motivation and meaning in work.

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When Emotion Fills the Room: How to Use Empathic Statements to Move a Conversation Forward

Presented by:
  • Katherine Aragon MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Goals-of-care conversations are filled with emotion. Clinicians can often feel at a road block when they encounter highly emotional conversations. Patients and families may not be able to process medical information or make decisions when they are overwhelmed by emotion. Our presence, support and empathy are powerful sources of strength and comfort. By responding to emotions, we build trust and can move to a place of decision making. During this session, Dr. Aragon will provide a framework for using empathy in a goals-of-care conversation. We will review how to respond to emotion and present examples of how empathic statements can move a goals-of-care conversation forward. Finally, we will discuss scenarios when empathic statements may not facilitate a conversation as expected.

During this webinar, Dr. Aragon reviews the role of empathy when discussing goals of care, explores the use of empathic statements to help facilitate transitions in care and discusses how to modulate our responses when empathic statements are not moving a conversation forward.

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Compassionate Healthcare: Supporting Patients, Supporting Caregivers, Mitigating Risks

Presented by:
  • Beth Lown MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Compassionate care is critical but often an underutilized component in improving patient outcomes and reducing professional liability exposures. At its core, it means treating patients in a holistic manner, rather than focusing only upon patient illness. A growing body of research demonstrates that patient-centered care is essential to quality healthcare and has been associated with improved health outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, better adherence to treatment recommendations and fewer medical errors and malpractice claims.

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Bridging Difference and Power with RESPECT: A Relational Approach to Patients, Supervisees, and Teams

Presented by:
  • Carol Mostow MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Carol reviewed the RESPECT model, and how caregivers can use it in their daily practice, teaching and supervision. A relational model that addresses difference and power, RESPECT identifies skills to build trust with patients, especially with those who differ from the caregiver by race, culture or background. It is a helpful training tool that also guides preceptors and supervisors to partner with learners, supervisees and colleagues across differences in hierarchy. This webinar includes educational tools for observing, communicating and supervising with RESPECT. New work using RESPECT to address diversity and hierarchy on multidisciplinary teams is also highlighted.

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Effective and Compassionate Communication for Informed, Shared Decision-Making

Presented by:
  • Calvin Chou MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Nan Cochran MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Everyone talks about shared decision-making, but most clinicians have not been trained in the specific communication skills required. To provide true patient-centered care, providers must probe to understand the patient’s unique circumstances, values, and preferences in order to help arrive at a therapeutic choice that fits his/her individual needs. This webinar reviews how to elicit patient preferences, how to communicate risks and benefits effectively, and how to recognize and help patients resolve decisional conflict.

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Family Meetings: Improving Family-Clinician Communication

Presented by:
  • J. Randall Curtis MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Family meetings are a routine part of care for seriously ill patients and their families.  Effective conduct of these meetings has been associated with improved patient care and improved family outcomes. In this webinar, Dr. Curtis shares tips for both running and teaching positive family meetings, improving interdisciplinary communication, facilitating shared decision making around end-of-life care and how to use family meetings as a quality measure.

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Navigating Discussions of Prognosis: Balancing Hope and Honesty

Presented by:
  • Vicki Jackson MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Jackson addresses the myths and barriers associated with communicating challenging information to patients and present a cognitive model for prognostic disclosure. Viewers will gain a deeper understanding of the research supporting different communication strategies for discussing difficult content and addressing patient and caregiver emotions.

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Yes, Empathy Can Be Taught!

Presented by:
  • Helen Riess MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Transforming Moral Distress into Compassionate Action

Presented by:
  • Cynda Rushton MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
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Self-Compassion and Psychological Well-Being

Presented by:
  • Chris Germer MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Kristin Neff MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center

Self-compassion involves treating ourselves kindly in times of emotional distress, just as we would a close friend we care about. Rather than making global evaluations of ourselves as “good” or “bad,” self-compassion involves understanding ourselves as imperfect humans, and learning to be present with the inevitable struggles of life with greater ease. It motivates us to make needed changes in our lives not because we’re worthless or inadequate as we are, but because we care about ourselves and want to lessen our suffering. This talk presented theory and research on self-compassion, which a burgeoning empirical literature shows is strongly associated with psychological well-being. It also discussed how self-compassion can be a powerful tool for caregivers, allowing us to be fully present for others while avoiding burnout and caregiver fatigue. Finally, a brief self-compassion exercise was taught, which can be practiced in daily life.

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Clinician Resilience: Preventing Burnout, Promoting Compassion and Improving Quality

Presented by:
  • Ronald M. Epstein MD, Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center
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