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Culture of Empathy Builder:  David Rakel

Compassionate Connection

The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening
David Rakel

David Rakel, MD was the founder and director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine program and is now Professor and Chair of the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico Medical School in Albuquerque, NM.

The Doctor by Luke Fildes (Wikipedia)

 "I knew that creating connections is what helps me facilitate healing and also helps me to feel healthy."

Sub Conference: Health Care





Compassionate Connection: Healing Power of Empathy
(video on Facebook)


The Compassionate Connection: The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening

All of us have an innate capacity for compassion. We recognize when others are hurting, and we want to help, but we’re not always good at it. There is another way. In The Compassionate Connection, Dr. David Rakel explains how we can strengthen our bonds with others―all the while doing emotional and physical good for ourselves.

As founder and director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine program, Dr. Rakel discovered that we become the most effective helpers when we use the tool of human connection. Drawing on his own research and practice, as well as thirty years of published studies in medicine, sociology, psychology, meditation, and neuroscience, Dr. Rakel "stacks the deck" in favor of healing and introduces the concept of bio-psycho-spiritual authentic awareness. Not only are our bodies and minds connected, but also it has been scientifically proven that our capacity to feel beauty, awe, and compassion enhances our health and wellbeing.




1. Compassion Hastens Healing


2. The Mind and the Body - Connected


3. The Biology of Connection


4. Make Health Primary


5. Good Intentions Gone Bad


6. Identifying and Free Yourself of Your Biases


7. Be Present, on Purpose, without Judgment


8. Physically Communicate Good Intentions


9. Seek Another Person's Authentic Story

10. Move from Burnout toward Beauty

Appendix A: Compassion Training


Appendix B: Therapeutic Emotional Expression




"A family and integrative medicine practitioner extols the universal healing power of kindness and mutual respect. family and integrative medicine practitioner extols the universal healing power of kindness and mutual respect.

Rakel (Chair, Family and Community Medicine/Univ. of New Mexico; Integrative Medicine, 2002) explores the hot-button topic of empathy in everyday life. Using clinical anecdotes and drawing on 30 years of published sociology, psychology, meditative, and neuroscientific studies to support his theories and recommendations, the author promotes the synergistic two-way street of helping others while receiving in return the soul-nourishing emotional and physical benefits. “The human brain is actually wired for cooperation and giving,” he writes. “But we’re not always good at it.” Though many often bungle it, Rakel clearly believes everyone has the capacity to promote, cultivate, and boost health, healing, and “positive contagion” by making a lasting human and mind-body connection with others.


AIHM eLearning - The Health Clinic of the Future 
This video is a preview of the AIHM eLearning course
"The Health Clinic of the Future" featuring Dr. David Rakel, MD and Lee Tomlinson, PEM.


AIHM eLearning - What Matters
This is a segment from the The Health Clinic of the Future eLearning Course offered by AIHM.


FACEBOOK Video: The Compassionate Connection, David Rakel MD

"How humans can heal other humans and improve their own health in the process."