College of Mind-Body Medicine Students Complete Practicum at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute

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  As PhD candidates in Mind-Body Medicine, LaVera Forbes and Beth Haggett keenly listened to Dr. Michael Roizen at the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) conference in Las Vegas, they both had the same thought “…we should do our practicum with him.”  After the presentation they approached Dr. Roizen.  They introduced themselves as Ph.D. students in the College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, and presented their idea to do a practicum with him.  Within minutes their idea turned into a reality, as Dr. Roizen gracefully agreed.  Actualizing this practicum required some coordination work on Beth and LaVera’s part, as well as some trust as for months they communicated only through Dr. Roizen’s assistant. One year later they were shadowing Dr. Roizen around the internationally respected Cleveland Clinic.
            Dr. Roizen, who continues to practice anesthesiology and internal medicine, wears many hats.  He is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic and leads the Wellness Institute. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show 13 times, the Today 17 times, 20/20 (3 times), Good Morning America (24 times), CBN (15 times), CNN, CBS, and that is just a sample. The following statement from Dr. Roizen sums up his passion for preventive medicine, “I have the honor and pleasure of working each day from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm, but I love it and it is an honor.” 
            Beth and LaVera were able to witness how the Cleveland Clinic is integrating care by attending some of the programs offered.  They spent one day learning about Lifestyle 180, a course that is intended to help lower medical expenses related to chronic disease. The course extends over an entire year and includes classes on shopping, cooking, exercise, yoga, nutrition and mind-body strategies for weight loss and health. Patients with a variety of chronic health conditions, including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, and ulcerative colitis, attend and benefit from this Lifestyle 180 course. Beth and LaVera couldn’t help but think about the possibilities of including elements of a mind-body skills group in this conference, to add some depth and cohesiveness to the group process.
            Beth and LaVera also attended grand rounds, which is a lunch seminar open to physicians, nurses, residents, and any interested staff, and is sponsored by the Wellness Institute.  Topics ranged from Coaching for Wellness to Qigong.  During their visit they also attended Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s daylong conference for reversing heart disease. Dr. Caldwell is a former Olympic athlete, a surgeon, and a nutritional researcher, who published his approach to heart disease in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
            At the culmination of their two weeks together, Dr. Roizen treated Beth and LaVera to a lovely Turkish dinner. Beth and LaVera expressed their gratitude to Dr. Roizen for giving them the opportunity to experience first hand how integrative medicine is being incorporated into hospital settings.  Both left the Cleveland Clinic feeling more confident and inspired about their career path, and their place in the field of Mind-Body Medicine.
            For a biography of Michael Roizen, see the following website:

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