Physicians and nurses who work with patients dealing with serious, life-threatening illness experience stress, empathic overload, compassion fatigue, and burnout. In this qualitative study funded by the Mind & Life Institute and the John Templeton Foundation, we are conducting extended qualitative interviews with at least 25 clinicians with an established contemplative practice in the Buddhist tradition. Our aim is to understand the first-person perspective on how these practitioners bring or draw on their contemplative practice as
clinicians. In particular we are probing issues that include stress, moral distress, empathic overload, and burnout, but also the effects of training attention, enhancing emotional self-regulation, and working from an intention to relieve suffering. Results of the qualitative analysis will be presented, with anonymized quotes from the interviews and observation.