Center For Mindfulness In Surgery Copy

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 of General Surgery. 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, or simply MBSR. 

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