Empathy Revisited (Comment)

Powerful and deeply moving article by George Gubernikoff, MD, with the commentary Beyond Empathy to Compassion by AIMI founder Barry Kerzin, MD. The article and its commentary highlight the empathy and often ensuing burnout dilemma that many healthcare professionals find themselves in.

Read Article and Comment on JAMA 

Philosophy in a Time of Pandemic

A very timely piece written by AIMI board member Garrett Riggs, MD, PhD.

Most people think of philosophy — to the extent they think about it at all — as an intellectual, academic field with little practical application.

Coronavirus is about to change that.  If the worst predictions about the pandemic become reality, Americans in particular are going to have an abrupt encounter with difficult choices that philosophers have been thinking about for centuries. 

The decisions we may face already provoke great uncertainty, and as a species, we humans do not tolerate uncertainty well.  It is sometimes helpful if we can at least articulate the source of our anxiety in order to discuss it.  This is one area where philosophy can help give a name to what we are feeling. 

This essay is not a scholarly article, nor is it really an article on ethics or philosophy.  It is a brief review of some core concepts in medical ethics, and an introduction to the names of the conflicts we may soon face. 

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PBS – The Dalai Lama’s Doctor

The Tibetan spiritual leader now calls Kerzin, a tall, white California native, his messenger to the medical world – a journey that took a classically trained Western doctor halfway across the globe to become a buddhist monk.

Access Podcast Episode

Rampant Burnout Among Doctors, Nurses

As many as half of all clinicians suffer from the problem, creating risks to patients, malpractice claims and absenteeism, study finds.

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Holiday Thoughts from the Dalai Lama’s Physician


Pittsburgh Quarterly Editor Douglas Heuck spoke briefly last week with Dr. Kerzin about the significance of the holiday season.

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photo credit: Renee Rosensteel

The Long Echo of Gun Violence

A moving anecdote by a physician, on the horror and senselessness of gun violence, and the need for us to do something about it, as medical professionals and citizens.

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Dalai Lama’s personal doctor visits Pittsburgh, teaches mindfulness

An article written by Bob Bauder for TRIB LIVE.

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The Dalai Lama’s doctor is in Pittsburgh and he needs you to just relax already

An article written by Colin Deppen for The Incline. Dr. Barry Kerzin, personal physician to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, has returned to Pittsburgh to help UPMC nurses cope with burnout. But there are plenty of occupations in similar need, he says. Basically all of them.

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