Re-humanizing Medicine

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

By David R. Kopacz, MD
Ayni Books, An imprint of John Hunt Publishing
ISBN-10: 1782790756
ISBN-13: 978-1782790754

What starts as personal dissatisfaction in the workplace can become personal transformation that changes clinical practice and ultimately changes the culture of medicine. As physicians and professionals we have trained extensively to relieve suffering. Yet the systems we train and practice in create suffering for us and our clients through the neglect of basic human needs. True health care 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 health care institutions. 

Table of Contents

Part I: Perspectives on Contemporary Medicine
Chapter 1: Dehumanization in Contemporary Medicine
Chapter 2: Health and Illness: Paradigms and Perspectives

Part II: Holistic Medicine: A Framework for the Whole Human Being
Chapter 3: Redefining Medicine 
Chapter 4: Principles of Holistic Medicine
Chapter 5: A Holistic Framework for Being Human

Part III: Re-Humanizing Your Self
Chapter 6: Physician Know Thyself
Chapter 7: Transforming Your Self            

Part IV: Re-Humanizing Your Practice
Chapter 8: My Journey in Creating a Holistic Practice
Chapter 9: Transforming Your Practice
Chapter 10: Holistic Decision Making

Part V: Re-Humanizing the Culture of Medicine
Chapter 11: Leading the Transformation of Medicine
Chapter 12: Reconnection and Re-humanization in Medicine


"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 Weine, MD

Author of When History is a Nightmare and Testimony after Trauma 
Director, UIC International Center on Responses to Catastrophes
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago

“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 of Reinventing Medicine and Healing Words
Executive Editor for Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

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 and helped me understand why conditions only worsen despite our collective complaints as physicians and patients. 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, and compassionate sides of medicine. In a world of no time, this book is well worth the read.”

Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD

Author of Healing the Mind through the Power of Story: The Promise of Narrative Psychiatry
Core Faculty, Union Institute & University, Clinical Psychology
Executive Director, Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation, Brattleboro, Vermont

"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 this past century.

Transformation of the culture of medicine is dependent on the transformation of the physician. Central to his understanding is that the transformation of medicine turns on the personal awakening and transformation of the physician.

Dr. Kopacz’s book is 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: To heal the body, as well as the entire nexus of our relationships."

Vincent Di Stefano D.O., N.D., M.H. Sc.

Author of Holism and Complementary Medicine. Origins and Principles
The Healing Project

"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

Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP)
Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS)
D. Phil. 
Co-editor and co-author of Experiencing Psychosis: Personal and Professional Perspectives

"This book shines a spotlight onto human connection, a fundamental factor that is too readily neglected in today’s technology-driven medical practice. Bringing his personal experience and a rich collection of literature, Dr. David Kopacz offers a 'portable' holistic framework that can be applied ecologically to cultivate authentic wholeness in both practitioners and patients. This autobiographical narrative demonstrates the abundant universal problems in health care through an 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
New Zealand Registered Occupational Therapist (NZROT)
Postgraduate Certificate in Mental (PgCertMH)

"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 Website
Pediatric Cardiologist
Sandy Hook, Connecticut 

“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 bothtopics 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

“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
Senior Lecturer with University of Queensland
Private Practice, Brisbane, Australia

“I am grateful this book has been written, and a voice has been given to the vital message that reminds us of the ‘care’ aspect in health care, for practitioner and patient alike. Confronting, honest and transparent, Re-Humanizing Medicine is written with a wisdom rarely seen.” 

Chrissy Diamond, BHS NMT, Dip CST, DIP CTM

Neuromuscular Therapist
Holistic Alignment, New Zealand College Massage