Podcast #6: Pediatric Palliative Care with Dr. Stephen Liben

© Yukyung Kang

Born and raised in Montreal, Dr. Liben graduated from McGill medical school in 1987 and completed a residency in pediatrics and subspecialty fellowship in pediatric critical care at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He then became the medical director of the pediatric palliative care program in 1995, helping to develop the emerging new field with publications such as the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children, and bringing the program to its current form as the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT/Palliative Care). He is a full professor of Pediatrics at McGill University and also a faculty member of McGill Programs in Whole Person Care.

We discuss:

  • Why mindfulness is hard to put into words and why its accessible for all of us  (01:55)
  • Being mindful of thought (4:49; 11 :45)
  • Mindfulness as a state of consciousness (5:35)
  • Mindfulness of emotion(8 :30)
  • How Dr. Liben became involved in the mindfulness curriculum (17:30)
  • Why mindfulness is like a muscle that needs daily exercise (19 :40)
  • Why mindfulness builds resilience in medical students (31:48)
  • Grief and our role as witnesses of grief for patients (40:45)
  • The best and worst things to do when patients are grieving (42:56)

“Saying “everything is going to be fine” is more a sign of our discomfort towards [the patient] crying and we want them to stop crying, in order to stop our discomfort. But that is not helping the patients [who are] looking for someone who can hear [their] pain, not necessarily someone who will try to make you feel better.”

Interested in learning more? Follow Dr. Liben and the work he is doing:

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