Can mindful doctors take better care of their patients? How mindfulness can benefit medical care beyond serving as a clinical intervention for patients

Ruth Ingeborg Falkenberg

Abstract


The potential of mindfulness as a clinical intervention is increasingly
recognized, yet less attention has been paid to how mindfulness
can contribute to medical care when cultivated by physicians.
This paper examines how mindfulness in practitioners can alleviate
three problems arising in contemporary medical care. Firstly,
mindfulness could prevent flaws resulting from mindless medical
practice by allowing practitioners to become more aware of their
patients and their own cognitions. Secondly, mindfulness can alleviate
the problem of chronic stress and burnout in medical practitioners,
thereby enhancing their care of patients. Finally, mindfulness
can contribute to improving patient-practitioner-relationships
which often suffer in contemporary healthcare. In sum, mindfulness
in practitioners holds great potential for medical care; hence mindfulness-
programs for physicians should be implemented.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26481/mjla.2016.v8.519

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