Meaning in Medicine offers an opportunity for physicians to step aside from the demands and stress of daily practice and to engage in focused dialogue with colleagues about the meaning and purpose of medical practice today and its impact upon relationships with patients, colleagues and their own personal health, well-being and families.

Program Objectives:

  1. Increased awareness of meaning as a powerful resource in medicine.
  2. Identification of positive and negative factors which impact personal meaning.
  3. Exploration of resources to sustain meaning in relationships with patients and families.
  4. Enhancement of skills re: “Diagnosis/treatment ”of healthy conflict engagement with colleagues.
  5. Commitment to practices which sustain personal and professional meaning.


The program provides structure and process to facilitate the physicians’ search to maintain personal and professional meaning in their choice and practice of medicine. Guidelines are developed by the participants to promote honest and respectful dialogue. Through processes of reflecting on critical questions, the wisdom of the group is accessed and supported. A case study methodology is used to identify key issues in the search for meaning and facilitators offer “learnings” which assist the participants in their own growth and response.

Participation is usually limited to a maximum of 20 physicians.

Program begins on a Friday evening from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. and continues Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


Rhea Emmer, CSA, D. Min., R.N., has over 25 years experience working in health care, focusing in the area of spiritual development of practitioners and organizational spirituality. She is the co-creator and director of the RISEN program.

Dan Dwyer, Ph.D., has over 25 years in various health care settings specializing in physicians relations and medical ethics, including serving as Regional Vice President of Mission Integration for St. Joseph Health in Northern California and Vice President of Mission at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, CA.

For more information, please contact The Center to BE