Practicing Mindful Medicine: The Dharma Docs

June 15th, 2011Leland Johnston, MDGary Kahn, MDRohini Kanniganti, MD, MSPHDavid Silver, MD, MPHWendy Zerin, MDHost: Barry Erdman

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About the Presentation

The Dharma Docs are a local group of MD’s who practice meditation together and discuss issues emerging in their personal lives that center on their spiritual and medical practices.

Members of the group will lead a panel discussion, which will include an introduction to Dharma Docs, followed by short presentations by each panelist on how their practice of medicine informs their spiritual practice and vice versa. Dialogue with Interface participants and Q&A will follow.


The Dharma Docs
Top Row (L to R): Leland Johnston, Mitch Rossman, Gary Kahn, Roy Steinbock
Bottom Row (L to R): Ann Giesen, Rohini Kanniganti, Wendy Zerin
(Missing: David Silver, Phil Weber)

About the Presenters

Leland Johnston, MD Subsequent to graduation from medical school (M.D.), Lee was trained in psychiatry with three years of adult psychiatric residency, followed by two years of child psychiatric residency, and became board certified as a psychiatrist. After residency, he completed 12 years of psychoanalytic training and became certified first as an adult psychoanalyst, then later as a child and adolescent psychoanalyst. Since 1983, he has practiced privately and had also taught psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the clinical setting of medical school, psychiatric residency, and/or psychoanalytic training.

Gary S. Kahn, M.D., M.Ed.
President, Healthbridge Systems; Assistant Clinical Professor, Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver. Dr. Kahn is Board Certified in Family Medicine and in Preventive Medicine and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. His research, teaching and writing have focused on improving patient/provider communications and improving education for health care providers and patients. His primary focus is on telehealth technologies, and he also practices clinical medicine on a part-time basis. Currently, Dr. Kahn’s company, Healthbridge Systems, focuses on creative uses of telehealth technologies to improve the delivery of care to the elderly and to underserved rural populations. He serves on the Boulder County Health Information Exchange Planning Committee and the Physician Advisory Council for the Colorado Telehealth Network. He strives to bring mindfulness into daily interaction with patients, colleagues, friends and family — informed and recharged by periodic sitting meditation such as those with Dharma Docs.

Rohini Kanniganti, MD, MSPH, is a Board Certified Family Physician practicing family and integrative medicine at Boulder Family Medicine and Boulder Metta Medicine, respectively.  With the guiding principles of loving kindness and mindfulness, she combines the best of western medicine and other healing alternatives to walk with patients through their medical challenge.

David Silver, MD, MPH, has practiced emergency and primary care medicine for over 26 years in the Denver-Metro area. He is Associate Clinical Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Colorado, Denver, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he teaches sustainable community development.  He also works as a medical advocate, providing technical guidance to patients in navigating our complex health system. Dr. Silver embraces a philosophy of medical care that views physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life as closely interconnected and equally important in approaching treatment. He co-founded Wellspring, Partners in Health, one of Colorado’s first holistic health practices. With a growing interest in the health problems of the world’s poor, he completed his MPH (Masters in Public Health) through Loma Linda University, and has worked part-time as a technical advisor for health projects in Vietnam, Guatemala, Uganda, Kenya, India, and West Bank/Gaza.

Wendy Zerin, MD, FAAP is Board Certified in Pediatrics and in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She is Physician Lead for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for the Colorado Region of Kaiser Permanente and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Zerin received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and completed medical school and residency training at Stanford University. She has been a student of mindfulness meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 1983. She completed teacher training with Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has been leading meditation retreats since 1998. In 2003, she founded the Dharma Docs, bringing together physicians from a variety of medical specialties and meditative traditions to support one another in the exploration of the interface between medical practice and spiritual practice.

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