Re-humanizing Medicine

Re-humanizing Medicine

A Holistic Framework for Transforming Your Self, Your Practice, and the Culture of Medicine

Re-humanizing medical practice for doctors, clinicians, clients, and systems.


What starts as personal dissatisfaction in the workplace can become personal transformation that changes clinical practice and ultimately changes the culture of medicine.
Physicians and professionals train extensively to relieve suffering. Yet the systems they train and practice in create suffering for both themselves and their clients through the neglect of basic human needs. True healthcare reform requires addressing dehumanization in medicine by caring for the whole person of the professional and the patient.
Re-humanizing Medicine provides a holistic framework to support human connection and the expression of full human being of doctors, professionals and patients. A clinician needs to be a whole person to treat a whole person, thus the work of transformation begins with clinicians. As professionals work to transform themselves, this will in turn transform their clinical practices and healthcare institutions.


Modern medicine is engaged in a struggle to find its heart, soul, and spirit. This task must begin with physicians themselves. Dr. David Kopacz’s Re-Humanizing Medicine is an excellent guide in how this urgent undertaking can unfold. ~ Larry Dossey, MD, Author: "Reinventing Medicine" and "Healing Words".

Re-humanizing Medicine is a marvelous book about one person’s journey to find meaning and quality of life in the practice of medicine. Dr. David Kopacz presents a very human account of his frustrations within the conventional health care system and inspires us with his search for solutions. His analysis of the underlying philosophies of the kind of care we provide was illuminating for me and helped me understand why conditions only worsen despite our collective (as physicians and patients) complaints. His proposals for how to move forward into a sustainable health care future are solid, well supported by science, and promise to integrate the poetic, mystical, compassionate side of medicine with its science. In a world of no time, this book is well worth the time to read it. ~ Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, Author of "Healing the Mind through the Power of Story: The Promise of Narrative Psychiatry".

Dr. David Kopacz bears exquisite witness to medical dehumanization and puts his heart and soul into a thoughtful, reflective, yet practical guide for countering its contemporary ills. This book can change lives, careers, and systems. ~ Stevan M. Weine, MD

Brilliant, well-written, practical and inspiring, Re-humanizing Medicine provides clarity and understanding of the most pressing issues facing doctors (and patients) today. All doctors, including future doctors, should read this book and empower themselves to be the change that is so needed in our current systems of health care. As we physicians transform ourselves, we will transform the practice of medicine and be better able to serve those who seek our help. ~ Rama Thiruvengadam, MD, Founder, Physician Heal Thyself Retreats TM.

In Re-humanizing Medicine, David Kopacz offers an informed and committed corrective to the loss of soul that has occurred in the practice of Western medicine over the past century. Central to his understanding is the notion that the broader transformation of medicine turns on the personal awakening and transformation of the physician. Until such time as the biomedical curriculum gives as much attention to the cultivation of sensitivity, empathy and holistic consciousness as it does to the transmission of the reductionist principles on which it is based, Rehumanizing Medicine will remain a welcome source of nourishment for all within the profession of medicine who are searching for ways to deepen their connection to the historic mission of medicine which is to heal not only the ills of the body, but those of the entire nexus of relationships within which we find ourselves. ~ Vincent Di Stefano D.O., N.D., M. H. Sc. Author,

If this informative, readable and practical book encourages doctors to put in to practice even half of what is being put forward here, the world will be a better place. ~ Dr Patte Randal, Co-editor and co-author of "Experiencing Psychosis: Personal and Professional Perspectives".

Simple yet complex, idealistic and realistic, this book turns a spotlight onto human connection, a fundamental factor that is too readily neglected in today’s technology driven medical practice. Thoughtfully bringing his personal experience and a rich collection of literature, Dr. David Kopacz offers an excellent 'portable' holistic framework that can be applied ecologically to cultivate an authentic wholeness in both practitioners and patients. Notably, the book differentiates itself from the crowd through the 'organic' incorporation of autobiographical narrative which demonstrates abundant universal qualities through the most individualized perspective. I heartily endorse this book as a must read particularly for people like myself who are considering creating a private practice in holistic medicine. ~ Qi Liu, Postgraduate Diploma in Chinese Integrative Medicine, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China.

I am grateful this book has been written, and a voice has been given to this vital message, reminding us of the ‘care’ aspect of healthcare, for Practitioner and Patient alike. Confronting, honest and transparent....written with a wisdom rarely seen. ~ Chrissy Diamond (BHS NMT, Dip CST, DIP CTM), Neuromuscular Therapist, Holistic Alignment, New Zealand College Massage.

Our world currently faces great challenges that require each individual to commit to a process of growth and renewal. Kopacz’s book provides a thoughtful and practical account of how to inspire greater well-being by transforming managerial medicine into a place of personal and social healing. Guiding the reader through a wealth of insight into the history of scientific and alternative approaches, he convincingly argues for holistically-oriented medicine that encompasses objective knowledge, compassion, and intuitive guidance. His call for reintroducing attention to the human condition in an increasingly corporatized world has far reaching impulses, not only for medicine, but also for education, the business world and society. Leading by example, Kopacz enriches any reader’s understanding of their own responsibility to change themselves and the world. ~ Anke Pinkert, Ph.D., Author of "Film and Memory in East Germany".

This book is essential for establishing a refreshed approach inside medicine and brings new insights about the practice of psychiatry. Dr. Kopacz addresses different modes of involvement in patient care, all of which facilitate a therapeutic alliance and optimal treatment outcome through empathy, intuition, and spiritual awareness. ~ Dr. Georgiana Antoce , Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

Re-humanizing Medicine has reinforced my own commitment to the importance of holistic leadership. I am confident that practitioners trained in biomedical and holistic health practices will feel this same kinship. This book brings both topics dynamically to the table for discussion. I was deeply moved by Kopacz’s inspiring words and reflections on his own personal experiences. There is a major cultural shift on the horizon in the fields of medicine and business to cultivate connection with the whole person and a holistic way of being. Kopacz’s research on Gandhi, Youngson, Palmer and other enlightened leaders further supports the concept of a compassion revolution. I hope that Re-humanizing Medicine will be required reading for all future generations of physicians and health care providers. Dr. Kopacz’s open mind and open heart will inspire many to ‘re-humanize and re-connect.’ ~ Sara Holmes, BS RA LMT NCTMB, Complementary Therapies, Massage and Aromatherapy Instructor Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois.

As a physician in private practice, I know first-hand the effect of long-term stress and never-ending demands on the practicing doctor—a guarantee for poor health and burnout. In Re-humanizing Medicine, Dr. Kopacz makes a well-argued case that doctors need to begin healing patients by healing themselves first. Preventive care is the recommended prescription for doctors who want to remain as energized and caring as they were when they entered medical school. This book illuminates a path to enjoying a long and fulfilling career as a physician who practices what he should be preaching. ~ Rich Berning, MD, Creator of PrivatePractice.MD Website, Pediatric Cardiologist, Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

It gives me great pleasure to review this informative text that will hopefully become essential reading to all medical practitioners and related clinicians working in the healing arts. David sets out a coherent and well-articulated background to the current issues that face medical practice in a global environment which has witnessed a significant loss of essential human interactions in the healing process. David's review of the outcomes of physician burnout are a startling reminder to us all of the risk that this leads to – not only for ourselves as doctors but also for our patients. Modern medical practice has developed a profound arrogance over the recent past choosing to ignore the time old lessons from our traditional healer colleagues who have been trained in the art of healing from a different perspective that engages overall health and well-being through a fundamental understanding of human systems, culture and social environments. David's book challenges us to re-examine these issues, sets out coherent and articulate arguments for the benefits of changing and places patients at the centre of engaging in an integrated and holistic new paradigm of healing based on a compassionate understanding of the frailty of the human predicament. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to both existing practitioners and those embarking on a medical career. ~ Dr Gary Orr, Consultant Psychiatrist in New Zealand.

David Raymond Kopacz
David Raymond Kopacz David is a psychiatrist, writer, artist and poet. His work in psychiatry and holistic medicine aims to balance the use of scientific evidenc...
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