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Invited Speakers

Monday, 19 October

Monday, 19 October, 8:45-9:15
Christina Maslach Christina Maslach, Professor of Psychology, Emerita
University of California at Berkeley, CA

New Insights into Burnout and Health Care

What do we know about burnout, and what can we do about it? This presentation will provide an overview of what has been learned from current research on burnout, and what are the implications of the key themes that have emerged. One theme involves the critical significance of the social environment in health care settings. A second theme is the challenge of how to take what we know, and apply it to what we can do about burnout. What we need are new ideas about potential interventions, and clear evidence of their effectiveness.

Monday, 19 October, 9:15-9:45
Michael Leiter Michael Leiter
Acadia University, Canada

How Improved Civility through CREW Alleviates Burnout

So much of effective healthcare occurs between people. By sharing expertise, perspectives, and shared goals, health care providers address challenging problems to the benefit of their patients. The process of sharing knowledge puts it to work. Most of the time the process works well. But not all of the time. Good working relationships are so essential to effective care that correcting team problems becomes second nature. When a colleague seems abrasive or vital information falls through the cracks, people adjust to either confront the problem or to engineer a way around it. It becomes remarkable when teams fail to find workable resolutions. Some teams get stuck in dysfunctional team dynamics. Over the past decade, healthcare teams across North America have implemented CREW (Civility, respect, and Engagement at Work), a team-level intervention designed to enhance workplace civility. Evaluations of CREW have found that it is not only effective at improving civility throughout workgroups, these improvements have downstream benefits for burnout, trust, satisfaction, and work engagement. Dr. Leiter has worked with the Veterans Health Administration in evaluating its CREW program across the USA. He has also led an evaluation of CREW’s application to Canadian hospitals. He is currently collaborating on CREW implementations overseas. In this talk Dr. Leiter will give an overview of the research on CREW. In addition to considering the overall research results, he will provide case examples from his work with health care organizations, noting the various roles filled by physicians in implementing CREW.

Tuesday, 20 October

Tuesday, 20 October, 8:30-9:00
Clifford Saron Clifford Saron, Associate Research Scientist
University of California Davis, Center for Mind and Brain, CA

Compassionate Practice: Toward a Greater Capacity for Engaging with the Suffering of Self and Others.

This talk will focus on ways in which specific contemplative practices may facilitate the transition from empathic distress to empathic concern. Drawing on our longitudinal research of the effects of intensive meditation on attentional and emotion-related processes, I will suggest that there is a rich terrain of experience to examine related to the fact of emotional resonance as describe in our companion keynote by Dr. Ekman. I will present two models – a phenomenological account of cognitive capacities trained by mindfulness practices, developed with my colleagues cognitive neuroscientists Antoine Lutz and Amishi Jha and Buddhist scholar John Dunne; and an enactive model of compassion put forward by Zen teacher and medical anthropologist Roshi Joan Halifax. With these models in mind I will review psychophysiological, emotional expression, self-report and qualitative data from our project that suggest a trainable capacity to inhibit habitual response tendencies consistent with improved executive control and increase one’s engagement with suffering and diminish one’s aversive responses to it. The presentation will stress the importance of context in this type of research and suggest ways in which lessons drawn from intensive training contexts may be situated within secular, time-limited professional medical settings.

Tuesday, 20 October, 9:00-9:30
Eve Ekman Eve Ekman
University of California San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, CA

Good Medicine- the benefits and burdens of empathy for patients and providers

Empathy has the potential to be a catalyst for delivering truly individualized quality patient care, generating feelings of meaning in work for providers and for instigating sympathetic distress leading to stress and burnout. This key note navigates through the contemporary research to help us understand the phenomenon of the empathic connection from the fields of psychology ( humanistic, social, health and contemplative) , neuroscience and medical education in order to consider how, where and when to intervene to support our providers.

Wednesday, 21 October

Wednesday, 21 October, 8:30-9:00
Steven Southwick Steven Southwick
Yale University School of Medicine, CT

Resilience: Scientific and Clinical Foundations

Resilience refers to the ability to bend but not break, to bounce back, and sometimes to grow stronger after facing adversity. Resilience is essential for health care providers who routinely face high levels of stress, tragedy and loss. In this presentation, Dr. Southwick will review psychological, neurobiological and social factors that are associated with and that promote resilience. He will also discuss implications and strategies for patients and health care providers.

Wednesday, 21 October, 9:00-9:30
Mary Jo Kreitzer Mary Jo Kreitzer
Center for Spirituality & Healing, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, MN

Cultivating Self-Care, Wellbeing and Resilience in Our Lives and Organizations

In this session, Dr. Kreitzer will discuss strategies to improve health and wellbeing in students enrolled in health professional education programs as well as organizational strategies to advance wellbeing and engagement at a university-wide level. Student survey data and data from a two year university-wide engagement survey will be presented.