Dr. Jan Bonhoeffer

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Dare To Care – How to Survive and Thrive in Today’s Medical World

Dr. Jan Bonhoeffer, professor of pediatrics, global expert on infectious diseases and vaccine safety, and former ER physician, tells how medical professionals can reclaim heart-based healing amid pandemic pressure

Frontline medical workers today face crushing levels of stress as they toil in a healthcare system straining to cope with impacts of a global pandemic. The key to surviving and thriving in such an environment lies in kindling the spark of heart-based caring that draws people to become healers in the first place, Dr. Jan Bonhoeffer says.

Dr. Bonhoeffer is a global expert on infectious diseases and vaccine safety and a thought leader on efforts to transform how medical professionals care for their patients — and themselves. He is co-author of the new book “Dare to Care — How to Survive and Thrive in Today’s Medical World.”

Written as a series of letters to his goddaughter, a young resident physician, “Dare to Care” inspires medical professionals to “remember why you came” amid the stress, pressure and burnout rampant in today’s mechanized medical culture. The message is poignant and powerful at a time when medical workers are pushed to their limits battling the pandemic. The book also includes many practical tools and “life hacks” from co-author Arjuna Ardagh, the author of “Radical Brilliance” and many other books.

“You can help people with what you have in your mind, but your heart is the vehicle of real healing,” Dr. Bonhoeffer writes. “It is expressed in how you show up, how authentically you make yourself available for your patients and how deeply you engage with them. It is affected by how sincerely you take responsibility for your own well-being, and then it overflows into how you truly care for your patients.”

Dr. Bonhoeffer is professor of pediatrics, infectious diseases and vaccines at the University of Basel Children’s Hospital, Switzerland where he has served on the medical faculty since 2012. For 18 years he led the Brighton Collaboration, a global leader in trusted vaccine safety research now spearheading safety assessment of COVID vaccines in global consortia including CEPI and COVAX. As a former consultant with the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, he has co-authored more than 120 peer-reviewed articles in medical journals.

After more than two decades working with global stakeholders on these issues, Bonhoeffer is no longer involved in these efforts and thus free to offer an independent yet well-informed view of the pandemic and our response to it. This includes not only efforts to assure that new vaccines are safe and effective, but also finding ways to strengthen our medical system and the wellbeing of our healthcare providers through the pandemic and beyond,

"As an independent scientist and medical professional with no vested interest, I can tell you we’re facing something that’s potentially longer lasting and more damaging than COVID. We’re facing a pandemic of fear," he says. "Right now, people at home are fearful, scientists are under pressure, governments are challenged and the economy is affected – it has become a societal issue.

"Most of us aren’t able to influence politics, science or the economy, but there is one area we always have power over – our inner state. As a doctor, I’ve witnessed that when families, patients and healthcare professionals share an integrated state of kindness, love and positivity, amazing things happen."

Dr. Bonhoeffer is founder of Heart Based Medicine, a global network of healthcare professionals and patients exploring the natural healing potential of the healthcare provider and the patient. He inspires medical professionals to reclaim empathy and compassion as primary facets of healing to overcome the disillusion and burnout they often encounter in today’s mechanized medical culture.

Topics he can discuss include:
* COVID-19 & Vaccine Safety: What Should We Be Asking?
* Caring for Our Caregivers and Combatting Medical Burnout
* Inoculating Ourselves Against the “Pandemic of Fear”
* The Most Important Part of Being a Doctor
* Empathy Over Authority: What Patients Really Need
* How Healthcare Professionals Can Guard Against Burnout and Provide Better Care

Dr. Bonhoeffer founded Heart Based Medicine to help the many healthcare professionals who are exhausted, disillusioned, and suffering from PTSD in the pandemic. He notes that rates of burnout, divorce, and suicide among healthcare professionals are twice as high as in the population they serve. Many medical errors are attributed to lack of care, and patients are dissatisfied with the model of healthcare delivery.

“We aim to facilitate a radically fresh look at the medical system,” he says. “We empower healthcare professionals to take care of themselves and realign their daily work with their true purpose. This allows healthcare professionals to be more effective and enables patients to heal at a deeper level.”

Download Dr. Jan Bonhoeffer's One Pager.
Learn more at https://heartbasedmedicine.org.
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