CommonHealth: When Doctors Do Yoga

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(Rachel Zimmerman for WBUR)
(Rachel Zimmerman for WBUR)

Boston University is offering its first yoga elective to medical students. The class is divided into two parts, beginning with a 30 minute lecture about relevant research in the field of relaxation and mindfulness, followed by a yoga practice.

What happens when young doctors do yoga?  Not only can it improve their level of self-care, but it can also broaden their concept of what can help heal their patients.

"[Students] learning to be doctors and are under incredible pressure and so, for one thing, they needed to sort of de-stress," Rachel Zimmerman, co-host of WBUR's CommonHealth blog explained. "But also, the neuroscience element of this is so that they can ultimately be so comfortable with the science behind yoga that they can ultimately prescribe it to patients or at least discuss it.”

Dr. Rob Saper, the director of integrative medicine in the department of family medicine at Boston University, used yoga to cope with his stress while attending medical school and says that yoga now informs how he practices medicine.

Both Rachel Zimmerman and Dr. Saper joined Radio Boston to take a closer look at the integration of yoga in medical school education.


  • Dr. Rob Saper, Director of Integrative Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at the Boston University Medical School
  • Rachel Zimmerman, co-host, WBUR's CommonHealth Blog


This program aired on February 14, 2012.


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