The Mindful Medical Student

A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Staying Who You Are While Becoming Who You Want to Be

Jeremy Spiegel, M.D.; Bernie Siegel, M.D., intro.

Four years in medical school are not only demanding and competitive in a strictly academic sense, but they may bring students face-to-face with perfectionism, anxiety, obsessions, power plays, difficult patients, ethical dilemmas, identity crises, sleep deprivation, financial strain, and—perhaps for the first time in their lives—confrontations with disease, suffering, and death. The Mindful Medical Student will broaden readers’ perspectives and cultivate their ability to respond to the extreme emotional, psychological, and spiritual challenges posed by medical school and, eventually, a medical career. Jeremy Spiegel, MD, tackled these issues head on, prevailed, and became a first-rate psychiatrist. Now, in a vital book, he shares what he has learned.

Paper: $19.95 | E-book: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9781584657637
Pages: 160 | Size: 5.25 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: June 30, 2009


  • Spiegel’s work presents a valuable tool in negotiating the hidden curriculum of medical school—cynicism, loneliness, and dishonesty. Its strength lies in its practical application of psychiatric techniques and in its accessible examples based on the experiences of other medical students and physicians. . . . ‘By committing a few moments daily’ to some of these techniques, medical students and future physicians will profit well into their careers.

    The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • What sets The Mindful Medical Student apart from similarly themed books is its emphasis on achieving clarity, reflective capacity and wholeness through the creation of a uniquely personal narrative. Spiegel’s techniques facilitate the processing of experiences so students take an active role in moulding their own transformation and protecting themselves against emotional shutdown and cynicism. . . . The Mindful Medical Student is an enjoyable read with an entertaining conversational style. Despite its title, the book shares valuable insights that may be useful for all health care providers in training. It is essentially a manual on how to maintain sanity in an often grueling medical environment and culture, makes a compelling argument that self-care is not a luxury. It gives students permission to step back from their textbooks, to distinguish the forest from the trees and to appreciate their special place in that forest.

    Canadian Medical Association Journal
  • The Mindful Medical Student should be required reading for everyone in medical school. More than that, it should be a required course!

    Christiane Northrup, MD
    author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
  • This book can be a valuable resource for any medical student in navigating the sometimes tortuous waters of training in ways that will promote greater sanity, healing, and compassion, both for oneself, and for one’s patients, not just while in school, but across the lifespan of one’s practice.

    Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.
    Professor of Medicine emeritus, UMass Medical School, author, Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness
  • Medical school can be an inspiring, lofty experience or an extended exercise in personal degradation. The Mindful Medical Student is a clear, concise guidebook for negotiating the challenges all medical students face. If you want to not just survive medical school, but triumph, this book is highly recommended.

    Larry Dossey, MD
    author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
  • Jeremy Spiegel, one of our former students at Dartmouth Medical School, was always full of wisdom, depth, and perspective, and everyone who interacted with him always seemed to learn something. His new text does more of the same as it shines a useful and practical light on a great truth—it’s important to stay true to yourself and the values that brought you to medicine during the difficult socialization process that is medical school. Dr. Ron Epstein from the University of Rochester School of Medicine has written that “mindfulness” is a very useful and very high level state to achieve in medicine, a state that is even above practicing “evidence based medicine” which has become so much our mantra for medicine today. Jeremy gives practical strategies to become and stay mindful, to hang on to and honor your “true self” despite forces that hinder this and to both preserve your own humanity and share it with others as you mature into physicianhood. Having been a student affairs dean for years, I’ve never seen anything written like this book which possesses Jeremy’s unique perspectives and is informed by his deep understanding of the psyche. It is well worth reading and taking its lessons to heart for anyone on the journey to becoming a doctor.

    Joseph F. O’Donnell, MD
    Senior Advising Dean and Director of Community Programs, Dartmouth Medical School

About the Author

Jeremy Spiegel

A graduate of Princeton University and Dartmouth Medical School, Dr. Jeremy Spiegel has been practicing medicine for 20 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his work in art, psychological research, and writings on the arts and the human condition. He is the author of The Mindful Medical Student: A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Staying Who You Are While Becoming Who You Want to Be (Dartmouth College Press, 2009) as well as Art Healing: Visual Art for …

Bernie Siegel

Dr. Bernie Siegel is a surgeon, well-known self-help author, patient advocate, and crusader for the humanization of medical education and care.

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