Mindfulness, Meaning & Medicine Book Club

We are dedicated to books that make us reflect deeply on the human condition.

Our goal is to create a safe, open space for everyone to reconnect with the patient perspective, as well as to reflect on our own thoughts and feelings. 


Faculty sponsor is Jessica Simon MD

In collaboration with the Health Humanities Group. To make this book club more accessible, our Living Library is dedicated to stocking a copy of each book we read together.


We welcome learners and practitioners from departments related to:

  • Healthcare
  • Arts, Literature and Humanities

Sign up here.

For more information, please contact.  catharine.bowman@ucalgary.ca

Current Book

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind

by Barbara Lipska PhD

December 9, 2021 at 7-8pm

We thought this would be an impactful read for the group, as it encompasses a variety of areas relevant to several domains of medicines (e.g. oncology, neurology, psychiatry, and many others), but also the greater meaning of life (e.g. memory, meaning, and humanity).

We would love to have you join us to discuss the NEXT three chapters (4-6) of the book (~60 pages of reading, total!). If you could please RSVP to let us get a sense of numbers, we would greatly appreciate it, but please know if something changes in your schedule last minute, we understand!

Feel free to reach out to myself (catharine.bowman@ucalgary.ca), Pavneet (singhp@ucalgary.ca), or Meena (meena.assad@ucalgary.ca) if you have any questions or comments.

The book can be purchased online as a hardcopy or as a kindle/amazon e-book. 

RSVP Link: https://forms.gle/7YvdSm4TFgoDRUis6

Event Zoom Link: https://ucalgary.zoom.us/j/7616233373

Past Readings

When Breath Becomes Air 

This moving and beautiful book is the memoir of Paul Kalanithi, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer shortly before completing his training as a neurosurgeon. Through his story, Kalanithi explores mortality, legacy, and the meaning of life.

Being Mortal

This moving book addresses different aspects of aging and end-of-life care, and it contains Gawande's personal stories as a surgeon. He suggests that medical care should focus on well-being rather than survival.