A family and integrative medicine practitioner extols the universal healing power of kindness and mutual respect. Rakel (Chair, Family and Community Medicine/Univ. of New Mexico; Integrative Medicine, 2002) explores the hot-button topic of empathy in everyday life. Using clinical anecdotes and drawing on 30 years of published sociology, psychology, meditative, and neuroscientific studies to support his theories and recommendations, the author promotes the synergistic two-way street of helping others while receiving in return the soul-nourishing emotional and physical benefits. . . . In furthering the agenda of altruism and empathy, Rakel believes a more considerate world is indeed possible. Readers open to positive change will welcome this guidebook and apply the book’s mindfulness meditations offered in an appendix. A relevant, necessary reminder about the power of kindness and good intentions.
—Kirkus Reviews


“This book explains not only the healing power of compassionate human connection, but in the most accessible and practical ways, how to cultivate our capacity to create that connection and thereby empower others to find their best selves.”
—John Makransky, author of Awakening through Love

“In The Compassionate Connection, family physician David Rakel articulates a much-needed vision of human health. . . . A deeply personal and accessible book that has a broad reach beyond medicine, Rakel draws on his rich clinical experiences and the latest neuroscience research, showing how human connection is a primary force of healing.”
—Ronald Epstein MD, author of Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity

“In The Compassionate Connection, Dr. David Rakel takes a novel and compelling approach to the increasingly urgent problem of caregiver depression and burnout. Using the latest findings on mindfulness and the power of empathy, he shows how caregivers can not only avoid becoming burned out but also how they can enrich their relationship with their ill loved one while supporting their own health and well-being in the process.
—Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady

“Graceful. . . . Dr. Rakel draws on his experience as a clinician as well as cutting-edge research findings to illustrate the central role of compassion in health and healing. He writes convincingly that everyone—not only doctors—can learn to develop compassionate connection with others and by doing so improve the well-being of all.”
—Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Happiness

“David Rakel has written a tremendously moving and intelligent book on a subject that we deal with every day but whose power we often ignore—the power of empathy.”
—Terri Apter, author of Passing Judgment and Difficult Mothers

“Rich with compelling, front-line observations from his decades working with patients, Rakel harvests a century of science to illuminate the ingredients of mindful human connection. Rakel is the doctor-guide we all want: truly holistic, a keen observer of human behavior and medicine, and a voracious harvester of science across fields.”
—Dan Shapiro, author of And in Health: A Guide for Couples Facing Cancer Together

“Still doubt compassion’s immense ability to heal both patients, caregivers and the world? Read this book! Often. Your doubts will vanish. Then, let’s get to work. The world needs our compassion more than ever.”
—Lee Tomlinson, Founder: The C.A.R.E. Effect Movement

“Dr David Rakel distills 30 years of clinical experience and his compassionate heart into this jewel of a book. Describing the power of story to unearth the roots of illness and suffering, he maps out paths for health professionals and patients alike to feel healthier and happier.”
—Victoria Maizes MD, Executive Director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; author of Be Fruitful