Dan Siegel, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, exemplifies the mission of the Cindy Wool Memorial Seminar on Humanism in Medicine. Siegel is the author of “Mindsight: The
New Science of Personal Transformation,” an in-depth exploration of the power of the mind to integrate brain functioning and promote well-being, which he will discuss at this year’s seminar, including how this practice can help doctors increase empathy with their patients. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 17 with a VIP dinner at 5:30 p.m. and a dessert reception and the seminar at 7 p.m., all at the Marriott University Park Hotel at Main Gate.
“It’s important for everyone, both [medical] professionals and non-professionals alike, to have this ‘mindsight,’” Siegel told the AJP. Developing this practice helps awaken telomerase, an enzyme that has been ascribed anti-ageing benefits and, he says, “contributes to improved health.”
The Cindy Wool Memorial Seminar is sponsored by the Maimonides Society of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona in conjunction with the University of Arizona College of Medicine. The 2013 seminar is presented in memory of Arnold Hollander, M.D. The annual event was started in 2010 by Dr. Stephen A. Wool, along with family and friends, to honor the memory of his wife, Cindy Wool, who died of acute leukemia.
At UCLA, Siegel is on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is also executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization. He received his medical degree from Harvard University, completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA, with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. Siegel served as a National Institute of Mental Health research fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an
emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.
He has written numerous books, including the “Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind,” “The Developing Mind, Second Edition: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are” and “The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive.”
“I’m a theoretician,” says Siegel, primarily concerned with interpersonal neurobiology, which combines all fields of science — from genetics to linguistics to chemistry. “Interpersonal neurobiology synthesizes all scientific fields into one perspective. If all disciplines of science are after the truth there ought to be some attempt to come up with one perspective.”
For physicians, developing the skill of “mindsight,” he says, reduces stress and burnout, “increases the immune system, increases empathy, increases the telomerase level and increases their capacity for presence, which is directly related to happiness. And that’s the truth.”
Tickets for the VIP dinner and seminar are $100; the dessert reception and seminar, $36. The dessert reception and seminar are free for medical students, interns and residents. For more information, contact Marlyne Freedman at 577-9393 or [email protected].