Podcast # 2: Dr. Allen Steverman

“Mindfulness at its core is really about creating choices…choices that already exist but that we don’t see”

Dr. Allen Steverman

Dr. Allen Steverman is a physician at the Pain clinic at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal and Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital who practices in chronic pain and has an interest in mindfulness-based approaches to chronic pain management. He is also an assistant professor in the department of family medicine and emergency medicine at the Université de Montréal and an adjunct professor in the department of family medicine at McGill University.

We discuss:

  • Dr. Steverman’s background and useful definitions of mindfulness
  • The development of Dr. Steverman’s personal interest in mindfulness
  • The importance of personal practice when offering mindfulness-based treatment to patients and training for other health care professionals
  • Why personal wellness is important in healthcare and some of the stresses and worries that are common to medical learners
  • How mindfulness can build resilience in medical learners
  • Common misconceptions about mindfulness
  • Acceptability of mindfulness in medical culture and how this has changed in recent years
  • Reasons for pursuing mindfulness for chronic pain management
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) – what is the evidence?
  • The default mode network, chronic pain and the connection between pain and suffering
  • A model for how mindfulness can modulate total pain in conjunction with other more traditional chronic pain therapy
  • How training in mindfulness practices produces better physicians
  • What does physician mindfulness look like in practice (an anecdote)?
  • How can mindfulness be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic? How can we distinguish between a reaction and a response?

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