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). 

Remote Enhanced Stress Resilience Training (ESRT) During COVID-19 Available

Enhanced Stress Resilience Training (ESRT) is now offered remotely for support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now offering our 5-week course in mindfulness-based cognitive training on zoom - to strengthen resilience, manage stress and build skills for navigating uncertainty and discomfort with balance. Each 1-hour class is led by a certified instructor, and followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. Classes are experiential - learning and practicing techniques - with emphasis on application to the daily life and work of surgeons and physicians. You can request a course for your group or join a scheduled course - typically offered in the evening, so partners and families are welcome to join. 

For more information, please contact:

Carter Lebares, M.D.
513 Parnassus Avenue, U-373
San Francisco, California 94143
(415) 502-5588