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New podcast on KevinMD:

Using inquiry-based stress reduction to treat medical malpractice stress syndrome

Listen on Apple Podcasts here

or read the article here

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Putting Stressful Thoughts on trial
A Live One-on-One Zoom Course to Thrive during Malpractice.
6 Category 1 AMA credits

Medical Malpractice Stress Syndrome

Being a doctor requires significant sacrifice and dedication, often at the expense of personal relationships and hobbies. The profession's high-stress levels are reflected in depression and suicide rates. The news of a malpractice lawsuit adds another layer of strain, comparable to major life crises like divorce or illness.

This pressure contributes to "Medical Malpractice Stress Syndrome," inundating us with thoughts of failure and injustice. We feel anxious, angry, and withdrawn, even considering leaving our careers due to shame. Lawyers advise us to appear likable to juries, a challenge amidst our turmoil.

The resulting flood of negative thoughts leaves us feeling incapacitated, physically ill, and isolated. Marcus Aurelius reminds us that our perception shapes our distress. Malpractice cases expose our unexamined beliefs, such as fear of judgment and perfectionism, which opposing counsels exploit. However, challenging these assumptions can alleviate stress and provide clarity. This crisis can even be an opportunity for greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and joy.

Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR) 

Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR) is a method for tackling the beliefs that cause us emotional distress. It suggests that we hold onto stressful thoughts because we haven't questioned their validity. By blindly accepting our thoughts, we remain trapped in stress.

IBSR involves subjecting our stressful thoughts to probing questions, akin to a lawyer cross-examining a witness. This process enables us to gain a more enlightened and compassionate perspective. Once we've examined these thoughts, they lose their power over us. IBSR frees our minds from these burdensome thoughts, allowing us to be more productive, focused, and present.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been extensively studied in clinical trials and proven to decrease stress, enhance immunity, and alleviate chronic illnesses. In this course, you'll learn the fundamentals of mindfulness, which serve as a foundation for ongoing stress management. Additionally, you'll engage in practices such as breathwork, gratitude, and self-compassion. We'll also examine other lifestyle factors like media consumption, diet, and exercise with a critical eye.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn and practice IBSR and MBSR 

  • Understand the neuroscience of stress

  • Institute daily practices for lifelong wellbeing

  • Improve performance in depositions and in court 

  • Improve resilience 

What is included
  • Six 60-75 minute one-on-one confidential IBSR/MBSR video sessions, scheduled at your convenience

  • Accountability check-ins 3-4 times a week by text/phone

  • Weekly reading and video material

  • Guided meditations

  • Availability to schedule PRN sessions (ex: before depositions) or emergent sessions as schedules allow​

Cost: 2875$


Teaching Experience:

For more than 15 years, I've been instructing well-being practices, starting at Kirtland Air Force Base where I assisted deployed airmen in coping with combat stress. As a speaker for Vistage International and The Executive Company (TEC), I've shared insights on the neuroscience of well-being through workshops across the US and Canada. My expertise extends to helping physicians and entrepreneurs understand their minds.

I've personally utilized Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to navigate my own challenges, including lawsuits, alongside the responsibilities of being a doctor, wife, mother, business owner, and non-profit executive director.

Week  1

The stress response  - How the mind reacts under stress.

   Fight or Flight

   The default mode

Inquiry: the basics of questioning stressful thoughts

Healthy Habits: Morning and evening routines 

Week 2  

Introduction to  Mindfulness

   Benefits of Meditation

   How to meditate

Inquiry: recognizing who and what triggers you

Healthy habits: Meditation

Week 3 

Get to know your Saboteurs

    How do you show up when stressed? 

     Review of the ten saboteurs

Inquiry: Are your thoughts accurate?

Healthy habits: Exercise

Week 4

Understand your strengths 

    The Sage mind

Inquiry: How do your beliefs affect your mood?

Healthy habits: Gratitude

Week 5

Personal vs. Impersonal Mind

   Neuroscience of flow states

   No self, no problem: new understandings of wellness

Inquiry: going deeper into inquiry

Healthy Habits: Breathwork 

Week 6

Left/right Brain differences
   The left brain interpreter

   Right brain dominant systems

Inquiry: Living turnarounds

Healthy Habits: Self Compassion

To enroll please email or call (505) 269-4097

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the New Mexico Medical Society (NMMS) through the joint providership of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services (RMCHCS) and (name of program sponsor). RMCHCS is accredited by NMMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians.RMCHCS designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Each physician should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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Marie Wagner Brown, MD
Pediatric ENT Surgeon

Working with Lara changed my life. Her understanding of the mind and piercing questions pull the rug from under my stress and unhappiness. I wish I'd had these insights earlier in my career!

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Katie Lopez, MD

Lara was my lifeline during my lawsuit. She kept me accountable for healthy habits which I still practice! Through her mindset change exercises, I was able to use the malpractice experience to become happier and healthier. 

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Jose Avitia, MD
Medical Oncologis

Lara's wisdom and insights have helped me navigate the stress of my busy practice. I always see things differently after talking to her. 

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