Podcast #4: Dr. Mark Sherman

© Yukyung Kung

Dr. Mark Sherman graduated from McGill medical school and went on to complete a family medicine residency program at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Sherman has since completed training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. He is the Executive Director of the BC Association for Living Mindfully (BCALM) as well as the founder of Living this Moment, a platform offering courses, retreats, workshops, and learning materials on mindfulness and meditation practices.

We discuss:

  • Dr. Sherman’s personal mindfulness journey and mindful clinical practice (02:48)
  • How mindfulness can be defined for patients (08:25)
  • Exploring the human condition through mindfulness (09:47)
  • How the principles of mindfulness align with the fundamentals of family medicine and how these practises inform one another (11:30)
  • Bringing mindfulness teaching into different medical specialties (14:29)
  • Dr. Sherman’s book-writing project as an opportunity to share his experience working with various physicians from all walks of life (18:16)
  • Practical tips for introducing mindfulness into one’s professional work and clinical practise (21:33)
    • taking time to be with yourself prior to the start of the workday (coffee, short walk)
    • creating sacred pauses throughout the day (doorhandle meditation)
    • taking time in between patients to get some fresh air
    • decompressing at the end of the day
  • Initiating conversations about mindfulness with patients (29:33)
  • Addressing patients’ misconceptions towards mindfulness (32:23)
  • The shifting paradigm of mindfulness in medicine and normalizing a culture of wellness amid an epidemic of compassion fatigue, burnout, and moral injury (35:03)
  • Current attitudes towards mindfulness practises among today’s physicians and ways in which we can cultivate a positive environment for mindfulness in the clinical setting (41:44)
  • The literature about how mindfulness can be useful for medical practitioners and learners (44:52)
    • Reduced burden of depression and anxiety, skin and bowel disease, chronic pain among patients
    • Reduced burnout, depression, anxiety, moral injury, increased social cohesion in medical communities and increased resilience among healthcare workers
  • The goals of mindfulness in medicine for patients and physicians (51:37)
    • Connection to ourselves and others
    • Authenticity and being awake in our lives
    • Relating to ourselves and others in a present and attentive way

I’m not okay, you’re not okay, and that’s okay…if we recognize and honour that not ok-ness..and start to have those real human connections and conversations, that makes us stronger. That makes us better physicians. That makes us more present and engaged. That makes us last longer in this profession and be able to do the job that we are trained to do”

Dr. Mark Sherman
%d bloggers like this: