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Theme-based Mindful Practice Modules

We have developed a set of 24 modules, each module thematically oriented around a particular topic relevant to clinical practice. Each workshop may include one or more modules that are chosen based on learners’ specialty, level of training, and other factors. Each module has didactic, contemplative, and interactive elements. In each module there is also time allotted for debriefing in which participants share their own insights, challenges, and questions.

The interactive presentations of each module generally includes a 15-25 minute talk with optional PowerPoint slides. The presentation outlines the structure and purpose of the session, and presents material related to the theme of the module, supported by an interactive inquiry-oriented discussion.

Contemplative exercises generally comprise about 1/3 of each session. These include meditative practices, with attention given to weaving the theme of the module into the guided exercises.

Narrative and appreciative inquiry exercises comprise about 1/3 of each session. Generally, participants divide into small groups of 5-10. Within the small groups, written narratives are first shared in pairs, in groups of three or in the entire small group. After each narrative is shared, reflective questions are used for deeper inquiry into the narrative experience. The experience is debriefed in the small group. We provide detailed guidelines for these exercises.

Mindful Practice Themes
  • Awareness – Our ability to notice, perceive, and discern
  • Self-monitoring – How we know how we are doing, automatic and deliberative processing, how we know when to slow down
  • Cognition – Our ability to think and be aware of biases and cognitive ‘traps’
  • Teamwork – Our capacity to work effectively with others
  • Suffering – Our responses to others’ suffering, being compassionate while cultivating resilience
  • Errors – How and why we make errors, how to prevent them and disclosure/apology once they occur
  • Managing time – How we perceive and use time effectively
  • Working with uncertainty – Recognizing that uncertainty is unavoidable in clinical practice and involves both cognitive and emotional challenges
  • Self-care and self-compassion – How to prevent and recognize burnout, enhancing well-being
  • Compassion for others – Cultivating compassion for all others regardless of our feelings of worth or merit
  • Challenges to professionalism – Attraction to patients, monetary incentives, conflict, pressure to prescribe, boundaries and limits, etc.
  • Grief and loss – Awareness of and responding to our own losses as well as those of our patients and learners
  • Resilience – The capacity to respond to stress in a healthy way, bouncing back after challenges while also growing