Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
Rachel is a nationally recognized medical reformer and educator who considers the practice of medicine to be a spiritual path and a path of service. She is internationally acclaimed as one of the earliest pioneers in the Integrative Health movement, and among the first to practice and teach a medicine of the whole person. As a doctor with a 63-year personal history of Crohn’s disease, she brings the perspective of both physician and patient to her pioneering work and her approach to medical education.
She is clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, clinical professor of community health at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, founder and director of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, and cofounder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program that was featured in the highly acclaimed Bill Moyers PBS series,Healing and the Mind. Her many groundbreaking curricula enable physicians and other health professionals worldwide to recognize their work as spirit in action, strengthen their calling to heal and renewing their commitment to compassionate service.
Rachel is the recipient of many professional awards and three honorary degrees. She has been the invited graduation speaker at Dartmouth Medical School, Yale School of Medicine, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Touro School of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, The University of Arizona School of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine and the UCSF School of Nursing as well as many white coat ceremonies. In 2008 she was recognized with an inaugural Bravewell Pioneer of Integrative Medicine Award as one of the earliest pioneers of holistic and integrative medicine; and in 2008, her national curriculum in professionalism for medical students, The Healer’s Art, received the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine Innovative Educational Program Award from the STFM Board of Directors.
Rachel is the author of many professional papers and book chapters. A wise and masterful storyteller, her bestselling books, Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal and My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging, have touched millions of lives and have been translated and published in 20 languages. She speaks nationwide to tens of thousands of people every year, in professional and public settings, reminding them of the power of their humanity to heal themselves and others, and their ability to use their lives to make a difference.
Words from Rachel…
The Power of Our Wholeness to Heal
— by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
In 1962 when I graduated from Medical School the goal of medicine was cure. Anything less was considered failure. Yet many things that bring people to us cannot be cured. Fortunately cure is not the only successful outcome of our relationships to our patients. There is a great deal more to personal wholeness than physical health and more that medicine can offer beyond the curing of disease. (Read the complete article)