Hassed, C. (2014). Mindfulness: why attention matters. Pathology, 46, S3. Abstract.
The importance of training attention is not a new idea and it may be the single most important life-skill we ever develop [as medical practitioners]. Attention training is an important aspect of what is called mindfulness which is a form of meditation, a way of living, and a foundation for new approaches to psychotherapy such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Mindfulness-based approaches are receiving considerable interest from a number of disciplines on the back of an emerging evidence base. Particular areas of interest in the basic sciences include studies on neuroplasticity, genetics, and immunity. But it is the applications which are of particular importance in areas such as enhanced mental health, improved executive functioning, greater mental flexibility and memory, and improved physical health. In the medical setting it is also attracting interest because of its capacity to enhance clinical performance and reduce burnout.