Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen Interviewed and the Healer’s Art – June 2012


Transcript of NBC Nightly News Making A Difference Segment- June 15, 2012 (from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program).

Reporter (Brian Williams): Time for our Friday night making a difference report. This is one for anyone who has ever wished their doctor was a little better at the bedside manner part of the job of doctoring. Tonight our chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman introduces us to a fellow physician who believes listening is good medicine and she’s doing something about it.

Reporter (Dr. Nancy Snyderman): This doctor changed the way doctors doctor.

Dr. Remen: 20 years ago there were a number of articles published one after the other which documented the unintended consequences of medical treatment that young doctors were becoming cynical, hostile, alienated, depressed, burned out.. and I wanted to do something about that.

Reporter (Dr. Nancy Snyderman): Dr. Remen created a course for first and second-year medical students but this one without textbooks. She calls it the Healer’s Art and teaches that the best practice of medicine is about connecting with your patient, requires more listening than doing, and is about more than a cure.

Dr. Remen: Healing is about evoking from people their resource, their inner strength, and their capacity to respond to the challenge of the disease. I get them to reflect on their own lives.

Reporter (Dr. Nancy Snyderman): The course she created at the University of California San Francisco 20 years ago is now in place in half of the nation’s medical schools , and most of her students are young women like Dr. Charlotte Carlson. What did you learn from Rachel Remen that you use every day?

Resident Physician (Dr. Carlson): I think she teaches us how to listen and do that with more openness. She can inspire us to get into the story of the person and pay attention to what their real inspiration, their real pain, and their real joy in the story is.

Reporter (Dr. Nancy Snyderman): Remen’s observations have been supported by research published in respected journals underscoring her belief that medical students leave her course better doctors.

Medical Student (Elyse Taylor): It has not only changed the way I want to practice medicine as a doctor but I think it also has affected the way I move through my own life.

Reporter (Dr. Nancy Snyderman): Medicine that gets back to basics.
Dr. Remen: You have to go back to what brought you into medicine in the first place and keep it alive in you.

Reporter (Dr. Nancy Snyderman): Finding the balance between high tech and the right touch. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC news, San Francisco .