Mindful Practice programs include interactive presentations, workshops, and seminars for physicians, trainees, other health professionals and medical educators. They are built on a strong bio-psychosocial foundation and contain three major components – mindfulness meditation, narrative medicine, and appreciative inquiry – each integrated with the others into a seamless approach.
Mindful practice depends on developing a capacity for mindfulness. Mindfulness is a naturally occurring human capacity, not just restricted to meditation or other "mindfulness-based" interventions such as mindfulness-based stress reduction or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Mindfulness can be cultivated through various means including meditative exercises, physical activity, narrative, dialogue, poetry, and music. Mindful practice workshops use a set of contemplative practices that orient and inform other approaches. such as narrative and appreciative inquiry, to bring mindfulness to the clinical enterprise. Mindful Practice curricula are specifically focused on three linked goals: Improving quality of care, quality of caring, and improving physician well-being and resilience.
Ron Epstein's 1999 JAMA article, "Mindful Practice" established an intellectual basis for mindfulness and self-awareness in medicine. Mick Krasner brings years of experience teaching Mindfulness Based Stress reduction to patients and health professionals. Together, they created a series of programs in Mindful Practice at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry to address the educational needs of medical students, residents, medical center faculty, and community-based physicians. They then began to offer similar programs nationally and internationally. Since 2010 they have offered intensive residential workshops for medical educators and practitioners at the Rochester Zen Center's Chapin Mill Retreat Center in Batavia, NY. They focus on cultivating healing intention, focused and panoramic attention, attentiveness to the needs of self and others, and caring and humanistic attitudes that foster better understanding of people, their contexts and their needs.