DAYTON, Ohio-The science of medicine involves vast knowledge, specialized skills and advanced technology, but the art of healing encompasses much more. Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., considers this fundamental truth essential for physicians throughout their careers, although it is sometimes neglected during medical school and forgotten soon after.
Remen is the best-selling author of "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and "My Grandfather's Blessings," a renowned medical reformer and holistic health pioneer and a clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She has devoted much of her career to exploring the role and value of concepts such as wisdom, emotion, trust, service and relationships in medicine.
In general, Remen said, "I think we have made a trade between mastery and mystery, between information and wisdom."
For example, as they rapidly gain expertise and confidence, medical students often lose sight of what motivated them to enter the profession. They may be too caught up in the demands of their intensive training to reflect on what they are doing and becoming.
"The freshman students are on fire with the meaning of their work; by the time they are seniors, this is gone," Remen said. "It's as if they now know what they need to do, but have forgotten why they came."
To help remedy this problem, Remen developed an elective course, "The Healer's Art," offered in more than 50 medical schools throughout North America, including the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.
Remen also created continuing medical education classes (CME) used around the country to help physicians retain or reclaim a spirit of service, embrace the mystery inherent in their art and recognize the relationships at the heart of all healing,
On April 23, Remen will share her unique perspective and experiences during a rare public appearance at a special event in Dayton sponsored by the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Premier Health Partners and Hospice of Dayton.
As the featured presenter at the First Annual Medical-Spirituality Conference, Remen will speak on the conference's theme: "The Heart and Soul of Medicine." The conference will take place in the Ponitz Sinclair Center at Sinclair Community College and will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is open to the public and appropriate for a general audience, including physicians, other health care professionals, educators, fans of Dr. Remen's work and anyone interested in holistic health and spirituality.
Following the conference, Remen will also be the keynote speaker at the annual Distinguished Guest Lecture and Awards Dinner presented by the Wright State University Academy of Medicine. Her presentation is titled "Becoming a Blessing: Remembering Your Power to Make a Difference." The dinner will also be held at the Ponitz Sinclair Center, and proceeds will benefit Wright State medical students.
For more information on both events, including costs, driving directions and online registration, visit med.wright.edu.
Editor's note: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Phillip Neal, Marketing and Communications, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, (937) 775-4587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Naomi Remen is clinical professor of family and community medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and creator of the Healer's Art curriculum used by more than 50 schools across North America. She is founder and director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, a professional development program for graduate physicians, and she is a co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. Remen is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal" (Riverhead Books, 1996) and the national bestseller "My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging" (Riverhead Books, 2000). An accomplished lecturer and presenter, she has spoken to thousands of people throughout the country, reminding them of the power of their humanity and the ability to use their lives to make a difference.
For more information, contact Marketing and Communications.