Monday, March 19, 2012

Remembering friends and looking ahead

Patricia Lindholm, MD
Immediate Past MMA President

I want to take some time to honor the passing of two physicians whose careers were dedicated to the promotion of physician well-being. 

Remembering our colleagues
Jud Reaney, MD was a developmental pediatrician at Park Nicollet and a most valued member of the MMA Physician Well-being Task Force in 2010-2011.  He worked through the Park Nicollet Foundation to promote physician wellness by coordinating and facilitating physician retreats among other activities.  He offered to facilitate a retreat for the task force based on the work of Parker Palmer.  We attended this Courage and Renewal Retreat as a group and I personally found the weekend to be a growth experience and an opportunity to enjoy nature and the companionship of colleagues.  During the past year we followed Jud’s journey with pancreatic cancer on his Caring Bridge web site.  Jud was one of those people who seemed to me to have a special aura of deep joy and sincere caring for people.  The many tributes to him on the Caring Bridge site made evident that many lives were touched by his and made better for having known him.

Lee Lipsenthal, MD was introduced to some of you last year in my President’s Blog.  He wrote a book and founded an organization both called “Finding Balance in a Medical Life.”  His presentations, conferences and writings have been enthusiastically received over the years by our colleagues around the country.  I recommend his work to you.  He also wrote a book during the last period of his life when he knew his time was limited by cancer.  The book is called “Enjoy Every Sandwich.”  It is in my library and a reminder of the importance of gratitude and mindfulness throughout our lives.  You can watch a brief video of him discussing his book at  

Physician well-being symposium
Minnesota physicians have an opportunity this spring to attend a special event offered by the Health Partners Institute for Continuing Education.  On June 7 there will be a physician well-being symposium, “Enhancing Physician Resilience” at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center.  This will be followed by several performances at the Guthrie Theater of a play written by William Thomas, MD, “Play What’s Not There.”  The play portrays five physicians at various points in their careers and the stresses and efforts to achieve work-life balance.  It will be followed by a facilitated discussion.  For more information and to register, please go to 

I will try not to be absent so long from the blog in the future.  I look forward to writing again soon!