Book Reading: University of Washington Bookstore!

Discussion & Book Signingjhp53db8b682bd57[1]

University of  Washington Book Store
U District store
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

THURSDAY • January 8, 2015 • 7:00PM

Re-humanizing Medicine: A Holistic Framework for Transforming Your Self, Your Practice, and the Culture of Medicine (AYNI BOOKS)

Throughout the field of medicine, science and data reign supreme. In his new book, David R. Kopacz, MD, argues that this has resulted in a predominantly dehumanized profession. If medicine is to be effective, claims Kopacz, doctors must integrate a more holistic and human framework into their training, their practice, and their own personal understanding and self-care. To learn more about Kopacz’s impassioned challenge to the field of medicine and his map for individual and systematic transformation that has implications far beyond the medical field, join us at this special reading and signing with the author.


Re-humanizing Medicine on Web Radio!

You can listen to an interview with Dave Kopacz about his book, Re-humanizing Medicine, by Mary Treacy O’Keefe on her radio show, “Hope, Healing and WellBeing” at WebTalkRadio. It is my first radio appearance for the book. It is about 35 minutes long.

Mary Treacy O'Keefe

Mary Treacy O’Keefe

You can listen to the interview by following this link.

Thanks Mary for the interview, I think it turned out great!

Also, the book is now in warehouses and I received notice from Amazon that the pre-orders of the book should start being delivered early next month, even before the official release date!


“Holistic Decision-Making – It’s Not Just for Doctors”


Check out the very nice article that Shelly Francis put together about my book on the Courage & Renewal Blog. She excerpted Chapter 10 on “Holistic Decision-Making.”

Here is the quote from my book that the article starts off with:

Decision-making is something that you can do with either your limited mind and ego, or by letting the choices percolate through your body, emotions, mind, heart, creative self-expression, intuition, spirituality, as well as through the dimensions of context and time – until a decision becomes clear with input from your total Self. Decisions made this way may ‘freak out’ your ego, but they can be truly transformative.”

I am very happy to see the book appealing to a larger, non-health care audience. Re-humanizing Medicine advocates for a personal growth framework for the physician to become a whole person, but this model applies equally to anyone.

Please visit the above link to see the article, you can also look at their programs, I attended their “Integrity in Health Care: The Courage to Lead in Changing Times,” and I wrote a guest blog called Recovering Hope, Poetry and Connection in Health Care that you can also visit, this was published May 9, 2013.


Re-humanizing Medicine is available for pre-order on Amazon!

cafe.vita.9.13.14 (2)

It is very strange to see something I have been working on for so long posted on Amazon. You can even look inside the book. The publication date is still set for November 28, 2014, but you can now pre-order the book.

It is difficult to say when this journey began, particularly as I distill my professional life’s work in the book. I think it was probably around 2006 where the book started to take shape as Creating A Holistic Medical Practice. I had written a draft of a book I was calling Being Your Self, but it was kind of diffuse and unfocused, gradually I realized I wanted to write about my views on holistic medicine and my work in creating a holistic medical practice. My earliest memory of working on this book was when I was at the American Holistic Medicine Association conference in 2006 in St. Paul, Minnesota. I remember sitting at a café and distilling some of my thoughts about how the structure of a holistic practice differed from a conventional practice. I had started my private practice in 2005, so I had been spending a lot of time thinking about and creating systems that supported genuine human connection in a psychiatric setting. I had set out some time in my private practice for writing, but clinical and then teaching demands intervened and the book languished. I wrote material for the classes I taught, Finding Your Self and Being Fully Human.

I moved to New Zealand as part of the culmination of a long-term dream and compulsion. I became busy there at my first job, realized I was partly living my dream, but that I needed dedicated time for my book, so when I took my second job there, at Buchanan Rehabilitation Centre, I went down to 4 days a week, so that I had Tuesdays set aside for what was most important to me. It was then that things really started happening! The book really started to take shape. I started looking into agents and publishers, eventually landed a contract with Ayni Books through John Hunt Publishing. In the process of getting book endorsements, Vincent Di Stefano mentioned the phrase “re-humanizing medicine” and that really clicked. That is where my passion was, not just in a book on creating a practice, but on challenging the dehumanization in contemporary medicine and setting out a program of re-humanization. Phrases like “counter-curriculum” and “compassion revolution” came together and the book took on its current shape, after an extensive re-write. Also, I figured out how to bring myself into the book, or the book out of me. Instead of giving facts and information, I felt the book was a part of me and I of it. At this stage, the writing of the book served an integrative process for myself, bringing together the first research project I worked on with Deb Klamen (who wrote the foreword to the book) as well as the many side projects I worked on along the way.

Eight years later, the book is now going public and I am shifting into a new phase with it. It is very exciting and I hope that the book resonates with an unmet need for physicians and clinicians and helps re-chart an inner direction that leads to outer transformation and reform. What will happen next?

imagejpeg_1 (2)

click here to go to Amazon to pre-order the book

Text from Back Cover of Book:

What starts as personal dissatisfaction in the workplace can become personal transformation that changes clinical practice and ultimately changes the culture of medicine.

Physicians and professionals train extensively to relieve suffering. Yet the systems they train and practice in create suffering for both themselves and their clients through the neglect of basic human needs. True healthcare 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 healthcare institutions

“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, M.D., author of One Mind, Reinventing Medicine and Healing Words; executive editor of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing.

“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 M. Weine, M.D., author of When History is a Nightmare and Testimony after Trauma; director, International Center on Responses to Catastrophes, University of Illinois at Chicago.












Publication Date for Re-humanizing Medicine: November 28, 2014!


Here is the front cover of the book, exciting to see it start to take form after so many years working on it…

Here is the link to the publisher page for the book.

I have to start moving into a new phase now, done with writing and on to marketing and promoting the book. Totally new territory. I am going to start looking into conferences and bookstores for public appearances.

The timing of the book is excellent with my work at the VA. There is a national Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation and my book is really consistent with their message. I was just down in Atlanta for the Whole Health: Change the Conversation conference and it was really energizing and helped me to get excited about the work of the book. It will be really interesting to see how the book does once it is out in the world.

In the meantime, I continue my day to day work at the VA. I have started the pilot run of The Hero’s Journey Class, based on the work of Joseph Campbell. It uses mythology and narrative as ways of assisting Veterans in their Return Home. Here is a photo of me at work on this project.

Hero's Journey Reflection

Otherwise, I have a few interesting possible projects on Patient Centered Care and staff wellness in the works. I will be presenting a poster next month at the annual meeting of the American Holistic Medical Association – Connection & Collaboration: Innovations in Patient-Centered Care. The poster is on Collaborative Poetry Writing as a way of engaging patients with psychosis and trauma histories.

I will post more details on the book publication as they are available.



So, what else???

I haven’t really blogged too much about the settling in this side in Seattle…

It has been busy buying a new house, moving in, settling in to work and putting the finishing touches on the book. I have finished the index and sent in the final proofs on the book. I have seen the draft of the cover, which is a stethoscope that forms the outline of a human head, a nice representation of having to look past the technology to the person. I am not sure how long this next process will take, but I believe the next step is publication!

I have been doing a little painting. I have large, well-lit work space in the basement and the above photo is a detail of the first painting.

I have been learning about the national VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, and I am going to a training put on by the office next month in Atlanta. There is a lot of overlap with my book, Re-humanizing Medicine: A Holistic Framework for Transforming Your Self, Your Practice, and the Culture of Medicine. There are potentially some great opportunities on the horizon!

As soon as I know more about when the book will be coming out, I will definitely post it here.

I have also been working on a draft of what could be an interesting book. I’ll be running a pilot of a class for Veterans using Joseph Campbell’s framework of the Hero’s Journey next month. I have been writing a draft of an outline for each session with various myths, movies, stories, and ideas. I’m really enthusiastic about it as it is bringing a lot of things together in a format that is different from a traditional therapy group.

That’s all for now…in honor of the blog earlier today on the review of the union of inner/outer wilderness, here is a photo of me and a tree…(the tangled branches represent my tangled thoughts, and the teleology of branches represent my seeking the truth, which appears to be mostly off to one side of my head).

Oh, yes! I also saw Rebecca Solnit speak a couple weeks ago. I should really do a blog on that soon…