Invited Guest Speakers
Dr. Laurie Fonken
April 2-3, 2018
Dr. Laurie Fonken, LPC, PhD - licensed psychotherapist, is a coordinator of DVM Counseling and Wellness Programs for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. She provides support and counseling services to students, interns and residents, oversees the wellness curriculum, coordinates the DVM orientation for incoming students, teaches courses, and directs and teaches CSU's "The Healer’s Art" Course.
During veterinary education, while it is crucial to learn medicine and science, it is important to address competencies such as professionalism, self-care, meaning, and community. The Healer’s Art provides an opportunity to infuse healing, service, wholeness and relationship into veterinary education. The Healer’s Art creates time for students to reflect and remember what brought them to veterinary medicine and why they want to work with caregivers and their animals. The course provides a safe place for students to explore their feelings, passions, struggles and aspirations with one another. Students will learn not only to share with others, but to listen to others with an open mind and heart, broadening their perspective, promoting diversity awareness and respect for others.
History of Healer's Art
The Healer’s Art course was designed by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, director of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI) and professor of Family and Community Medicine at University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. The course is currently offered in over 90 medical schools throughout the world, and in several veterinary schools, Colorado State University, University of California, Davis, Oklahoma State University, Tufts University and University of Wisconsin.
The course consists of five 3- hour sessions. Each session will begin with a brief talk given by a veterinarian focusing on the topic of that evening’s session. Then the group will break out into small groups, where individuals will share their thoughts and feelings on the topic. There will be 4-5 students per group facilitator.
Small group work encourages storytelling and the building of non-competitive communities of colleagues that can listen deeply to each other and allow for the healing presence of silence. In small groups students and faculty facilitators practice the skills that will sustain their humanistic values, compassion, strengths and wisdom in relationship to pet owners, animals, colleagues and their veterinary team in the future. The group facilitators will be veterinarians who are receptive and willing to take on the role as participant as opposed to instructor. Faculty are as profoundly affected by The Healer’s Art as the students, reporting professional renewal and enhanced enthusiasm for teaching and passion for veterinary medicine.