In the early years of her career, Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, felt alone and hoped to find others who yearned to practice medicine that was more than applied science. Thanks to Dr. Remen’s vision and innovation, she has gone on to serve thousands of clinicians and providers around the world.
Dr. Remen founded the Institute for the Study of Health & Illness (ISHI) in 1991 at Commonweal to contribute to healing the culture of health care through innovative educational programs and the formation of supportive communities. The institute’s programs provide innovative tools, practices and resources to enable health professionals to sustain their service values, their humanity, and their passion for their work.
In 2016, the Institute became part of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and was renamed The Remen Institute for the Study of Health & Illness (RISHI).
Today, the organization serving these professionals is known as Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI) at Pure Healthcare. The organization’s programs enable learners to find deeper satisfaction and meaning in their day-to-day work lives.
“Through the work of the Institute, its programs and its outreach, I have discovered that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals all over the world share a dream of service which is larger than our training and connects us to one another and to our patients from the heart,” said Dr. Remen, a nationally recognized medical reformer and educator who sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path and a path of service.
In 1991, Dr. Remen designed The Healer’s Art, a course that offers a safe learning environment for a personal in-depth exploration of the time-honored values of service, healing relationship, reverence for life and compassionate care. It is an innovative discovery model course in values clarification and professionalism for first- and second-year medical students now offered annually at more than 90 U.S. medical schools as well as medical schools around the world.
U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools has called The Healer’s Art, a groundbreaking curriculum for medical students, describing it as “a profoundly innovative curriculum on reintegrating the heart and soul into contemporary medicine and restoring medicine to its integrity as a calling and a work of healing.”
The Healer’s Art is now taught yearly in more than half of American medical schools and in medical schools in seven countries. Dr. Remen has been awarded three honorary degrees in recognition of her contribution to medical education and has been the invited speaker at more than two dozen medical school graduations.
Dr. Remen was one of the first to recognize and document the psychological and spiritual impact of cancer on people and their families. She is a co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, one of the first support groups for cancer patients in the United States, featured in the groundbreaking 1993 Bill Moyer’s PBS series, “Healing and the Mind.” Through her television appearances and lectures, she has reminded thousands of people of their power to grow beyond their current challenges and heal themselves.
RISHI at Pure Healthcare has award-winning, post-graduate education programs for health professionals, which have enabled thousands of doctors, nurses, psychologists/social workers and many others in health professions nationwide to remember their common calling and reintegrate their deepest service values into their daily work.
Dr. Remen’s New York Times bestselling books, “Kitchen Table Wisdom” and “My Grandfather’s Blessings” have sold more than 1 million copies and been translated into 23 languages. She has a 60-year personal history of Crohn’s disease, and her teaching and writing is a unique synthesis of the wisdom and courage of physician and patient.
Dr. Remen remains active in the teaching of RISHI at Pure Healthcare programs on a part-time basis and continues to be an integral part of the RISHI at Pure Healthcare team.
To learn more about RISHI at Pure Healthcare and how our programs can help you find deeper meaning, visit: https://rishiprograms.org