Video available from Toward a New Way of Being with Plants conference!

My sister, Karen, and I presented at last month’s Toward a New Way of Being with Plants conference.

The video of our presentation is available here.

Our overall presentation was called, “Remembering Our Living Relationship with Plants,” my talk was entitled “Toward an Ancient Way of Being with Plants,” and we also featured video that Karen created with Joseph Rael, “Becoming Medicine Initiation Ceremony,” and Karen’s talk was “Shifting Into a Relational Mindset With Nature.”

The conference was great! Very interesting, bringing together scientists, artists, poets, writers, and naturalists from around the world. There is a YouTube channel for the conference where you can watch the presentations.

Thanks to all the organizers and people who brought this great event together! It was very enjoyable, inspirational, and educational.

Making America Healthy Again: Indigenous Perspectives on Land & Health – new article About Place Journal

Making America Healthy Again: Indigenous Perspectives on Land & Health

By David R. Kopacz, MD & Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow)

About Place Journal from the Black Earth Institute

We have a new article published at About Place Journal for their Geographies of Justice Issue – Volume VI, Issue III, May 2021! We are very excited to be published in this excellent and important journal.

We look at the relationships between land and health, private land/private health, and public land/public health.

When I spoke with Joseph about the topic of Geographies of Justice he immediately resonated with it. “All humans are looking for that – some justice, a just place where we can feel adjusted and feel safe. A just place is where you are adjusted to justice,” he said. Here are a few excerpts of Joseph’s thoughts on Geographies of Justice:

There are a lot of resources on the land that we take care of and they take care of us.

We need to start with the origin of the land, the place before everything broke apart – Pangea. We start at 1 – that’s Pangea. Then the scientists say the continents broke apart, and then people came out of Africa, then the Indians walked across the Bering Strait into the Americas – that’s how the scientists tell it.

We can learn from our environment, from our geographies. We cannot have justice unless we learn from our geographies. Pangea was created and all around it was Panthalassa, the great ocean. Then Pangea spilt and you had the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans eventually, and the Americas, North, South, Central, and then you had all these tribes in North America, and you had tribes in South America. For all these tribes, their religion was based on geography. The Eskimos had igloos and they would have ceremonies that reflect where they live, all the tribes would have ceremonies that reflect where they live.

There are different areas of land. You become your place before you live in your Mom and Dad’s house because they come from the land and you come from them. They teach you about the weather. The ceremonies are related to the climate of their place. First there was Pangea, and then it split and you had Europeans and Americans, but we are all from Pangea, we are all related...”

Justice is right here in the room with me and it is right there in the room with you and it is right there in the room for all the people on the planet – it is here.

To read the whole article, follow this link to “Making America Healthy Again: Indigenous Perspectives on Land & Health” in About Place Journal.

The Social Determinants of Clinician Health – new post @ CLOSLER!

I have a new article posted, “The Social Determinants of Clinician Health,”

at CLOSLER: MOVING US CLOSER TO OSLER A MILLER COULSON ACADEMY OF CLINICAL EXCELLENCE INITIATIVE, Johns Hopkins.

Here are some opening quotes and the first paragraph…

“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets,”—W. Edwards Deming

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”—Victor Frankl

“Many believe burnout to be the result of individual weakness when, in fact, burnout is primarily the result of health care systems that take emotionally healthy, altruistic people and methodically squeeze the vitality and passion out of them.”— Swenson and Shanafelt, Mayo Clinic Strategies to Reduce Burnout: 12 Actions to Create the Ideal Workplace

If every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets, then many healthcare systems around the world are designed to create high levels of burnout and compassion fatigue in the people who work within them. Maybe burnout isn’t a lack of resilience or coping skills in clinicians, but an iatrogenic effect of modern healthcare.

Read the rest of the article at CLOSLER

Toward a New Way of Being with Plants Conference – June 17-18, 2021

I am very excited to announce that I will be speaking at the Toward a New Way of Being with Plants conference on June 18th! This is an online conference and registration is free.

I will be presenting along with my sister, Karen Kopacz. Our talk is called Remembering Our Living Relationship with Plants and is from 1:20 pm-2:05 pm US Central Time.

My part of the talk is called Toward an Ancient Way of Being with Plants and will review some of my work with Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow).

The center of our talk will feature a video of Joseph Rael Becoming Medicine Initiation Ceremony video (5:16) that we filmed and Karen produced.

Karen’s talk is called Shifting Into a Relational Mindset With Nature.”

You can check out the speakers, here, and the agenda, here. The conference is put on my a number of international partners, including the University of Minnesota.

Maybe we will see you there!

Also, I just had a post up on CLOSLER, “Making the Most of Your Daily Nervous Breakdown,” where I write about taking a mini-rest cure connecting back to nature.

Exploring Integrative & Holistic Healing at All Levels of Being with Dr. David Kopacz (Part 3 of 3) – Interview by Dr. Alice Lee

Listen to Part 3 of Alice’s interview with me on the Holistic Psychiatrist podcast. This segment shifts to looking at the importance of medical activism and our social responsibility for professionals.

Exploring integrative and holistic healing at all levels of being with Dr. David Kopacz (Part 2 of 3) – on the Holistic Psychiatrist Podcast with Dr. Alice Lee

The second part of Alice Lee’s interview of me is up on her Holistic Psychiatrist Podcast!

This second part covers transforming suffering, the Hero’s Journey, the movie Groundhog Day, Joseph Rael’s teachings on the Medicine Wheel, and a discussion of circular models of healing.

Part 1 is available through the same link.

Part 3 will air next week. While you are on the site you can check out some of Alice’s other podcast interviews!

“Exploring integrative and holistic healing at all levels of being with Dr. David Kopacz” – on the Holistic Psychiatrist Podcast with Dr. Alice W. Lee!

Thanks to Dr. Alice W. Lee for interviewing me on the “Holistic Psychiatrist Podcast!”

Exploring integrative and holistic healing at all levels of being with Dr. David Kopacz, part I of III.

You can visit Dr. Lee’s website here, Alice is also a great photographer and shares some of her photographic work on the site as well.

In her newsletter announcing the podcast, Dr. Lee writes:

“Dr. Kopacz has written three deeply insightful books: Re-humanizing MedicineWalking the Medicine Wheel, and Becoming Medicine. Reading them is like swimming in a liquid pool of twinkling crystals, filled with light and beauty. I can’t read a page without highlighting a passage.”

Thank you Dr. Lee for these kind words and for featuring my words and work on your podcast! I look forward to part II & III.

New Realities in Times of Covid-19: A Humanistic Response – Free Symposium

We are getting close to the day!

Saturday, 21 November, 6 AM Pacific Time/ 9 AM Eastern Time

Register for this free international symposium here

The talk I am giving is “Burnout: Soul Loss & Recovery in Health Care”

Register here

Vote: The Anti-dote to the Anti-doctor

What is a Doctor?

  • A doctor heals you when you are sick.
  • A doctor is someone you trust, trust with your life.
  • A doctor holds your hand & tells you the hard truth of your diagnosis.
  • A doctor brings healing when you are wounded.
  • A doctor weaves the twin strands of the ancient art of medicine & the modern science of medicine around the patient.
  • A true doctor works not just for the good of the patient, but for the good of all the patient’s in the community – public health – because a good doctor knows that we are all connected and interrelated.
  • A doctor works for good.
  • A doctor is in service to others.
  • A doctor prays for healing of the sick.

What is an Anti-doctor?

  • An anti-doctor makes you sick.
  • An anti-doctor is someone you can’t trust.
  • An anti-doctor lies to you & hits you with a hard hand.
  • An anti-doctor wounds you and inspires violence & wounding.
  • An anti-doctor binds you in the twin strands of the ancient art of lying & the modern barrage of social media.
  • An anti-doctor works against the good of the individual & against the good of the community – by dividing, separating, spreading lies & conspiracies, and by projecting evil on to others.
  • An anti-doctor works for no good at all, for evil, or just for his own good.
  • An anti-doctor manipulates others.
  • An anti-doctor preys on the vulnerable.

An Anti-doctor, Like all Fascists, is Anti-intellectual[1] and Anti-science.

An Anti-doctor Does Not Value Intellectual Knowledge:

I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me,” (Sullivan, 2018).[2]

“It was not only an unusual statement for the leader of the Free World to make but a strikingly precarious approach to take when engaging in high-stakes negotiations as with North Korea over nuclear disarmament.  Donald Trump seemed to believe that following his ‘gut’ would serve him better than any preparation, deliberation, or listening to the wisdom of his career advisers.”[3]

An Anti-doctor is Anti-science & Anti-medicine:

“Donald Trump threatens to fire Anthony Fauci after US election: President plays up to chants of ‘Fire Fauci’ at curfew-breaching Florida rally.”[4]

“Trump baselessly claims doctors are inflating coronavirus death counts for money as cases again hit record levels.”[5]

“If it were up to the doctors, they may say: ‘Let’s keep it shut down. Let’s shut down the entire world’ — because, again, you’re up to almost 150 countries [with coronavirus cases] — ‘so let’s shut down the entire world. And when we shut it down, that would be wonderful. And let’s keep it shut for a couple of years,’ ” Trump said, adding: “You know, you can’t do that. And you can’t do that with a country — especially the No. 1 economy in the world, by far.”[6]

“‘Maybe I have a natural ability’: Trump plays medical expert on coronavirus by second-guessing the professionals.”[7]

“The upshot was that the self-proclaimed medical savant came off looking less interested in his administration’s unsteady efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus than he was in bolstering his own status in a campaign year. Trump repeatedly sought to judge his administration’s performance by the numbers of how many have been shown to have contracted the virus and comparing it to other nations — and, in doing so, appeared to be making judgments based solely on that scorecard.”[8]

An Anti-doctor Gives Dangerous Advice:

“Trump Misleads on Hydroxychloroquine, Again: In revealing that he’s taking the drug to prevent COVID-19, the president distorted the facts.”[9]

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? So it’d be interesting to check that…I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what”[10] [pointing to his head].

A Doctor Cares – An Anti-doctor Does Not Care

  • A doctor cares for the health of individuals and local and global communities.
  • An anti-doctor care nothing for the health of individuals or local and global communities.

We need an anti-dote to the anti-doctor.

Vote: It is just what the doctor ordered!


[1] Anti-intellectualism is one of the ten ways that fascism works described by Jason Stanley in How Fascism Works.

[2] https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/27/politics/washington-post-trump-gut/index.html

[3] Bandy X Lee, Profile of a Nation: Trump’s Mind, America’s Soul, 51.

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/02/donald-trump-threatens-to-fire-anthony-fauci-after-us-election

[5] https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/30/politics/trump-doctors-covid/index.html

[6] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/23/trump-signals-he-wont-abide-by-doctors-coronavirus/

[7] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/maybe-i-have-a-natural-ability-trump-plays-medical-expert-on-coronavirus-by-second-guessing-the-professionals/2020/03/06/3ee0574c-5ffb-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

[8] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/maybe-i-have-a-natural-ability-trump-plays-medical-expert-on-coronavirus-by-second-guessing-the-professionals/2020/03/06/3ee0574c-5ffb-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

[9] https://www.factcheck.org/2020/05/trump-misleads-on-hydroxychloroquine-again/

[10] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52407177

New Realities in Times of Covid-19: A Humanistic Response – free virtual international symposium

I will be presenting “Burnout: Soul Loss & Recovery in Health Care” at this free virtual international symposium sponsored by The Doctor as Humanist, McGraw Hill, Sechenov University, and Universidad Anáhuac México.

You can register for this free conference: here.

The conference is Saturday, 21 November 2020.