Towards a Spiritual Model of Self-Care based on Mindfulness, Compassion, and Nature Connection


Presented by Dr. Michael Kearney

Learning objectives:

  • Describe various approaches to professional self-care including their benefits and limitations.

  • Explore metaphors for the healer’s journey from burnout to well-being

  • Be introduced to practices to foster deeper connection to self, other, and the transcendent.

Michael Kearney, MD has over 30 years experience of working palliative care.  He trained and worked at St Christopher’s Hospice, London with Dame Cicely Saunders.  Later he worked at St Thomas’ Hospital, London and at Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin.  He has been interested in combining medical treatment with approaches that enhance the innate healing of body and mind and has written two books, which explore these issues (Mortally Wounded: Stories of Soul Pain, Death, and Healing, and A Place of Healing:  Working with Nature and Soul at the End of Life).  He has worked with Professor Balfour Mount as Visiting Professor at McGill Medical School, Montreal helping to develop teaching programs on Healing in Medicine in the undergraduate curriculum.  In 2009, he was lead author on an article on self-care of physicians working at the end of life, published in JAMA.  He has just finished a book, The Nest in The Stream: How to be with our Pain, which offers a new spiritual model of self-care and resilience.   He lives in Santa Barbara, California where he works with Palliative Care Consultants of Santa Barbara.  He is Medical Director of the Palliative Care Consultation Service at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and at Serenity House, an inpatient hospice unit with Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.  

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Supportive Care Coalition