Surgery Websites

The UCSF Center for Mindfulness in Surgery was founded by Carter Lebares, M.D., a gastrointestinal surgeon and assistant professor in the Division of General Surgery and Hobart W. Harris, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chief of the Division. The program has broad institutional support with funding from the UCSF Department of Surgery and UCSF Medical Center "Excellence Fund, as well as the Physicians Foundation.

Physician burnout, which comprises emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and diminished satisfaction with one’s work, has been documented in medical students, trainees and every medical specialty examined, and has been growing across specialties. Burnout, diminished performance and the development of mental and physical illness are related. Among physicians, performance deficits from surgical errors to poor professionalism have been shown to result, at least in part, from the effects of stress on cognition. 

Mindfulness-based interventions have shown exceptional promise in improving burnout and distress symptoms, protecting cognition, and enhancing meaningfulness and satisfaction in work among physicians and other high-stress/high-performance groups. Dr. Lebares, working with collaborators in psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, neuroradiology, integrated medicine at UCSF as well as the laboratory of Elizabeth H. Blackburn, a Nobel laureate for her work in telomeres, has developed a streamlined, mindfulness-based intervention for physicians based on the model pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). 

Talks and Presentations

Mental Training for Surgeons: Better, Stronger, Faster and Happier? 
Carter Lebares, MD, UCSF Department of Surgery Grand Rounds June 8th, 2016, Video and Slides

Enhanced Stress Resilience Through Mindfulness: Compassion Communication Community, UCSF Faculty in Surgery and Anesthesia

 Carter Lebares, MD Elissa Epel, PhD Rick Hecht, MD, 2017

Effects of Perceived Stress on Psychological Well-Being, Cognitive Function, and Neural Pathways in Surgical Trainees Practicing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Aditi Desai, Dr.Carter Lebares, Poster Presentation at CHORI - Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute