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The guest for this podcast was Dr. Ni-Cheng Liang, a mother of two, wife, cancer survivor, pulmonary physician, and mindfulness teacher. Dr. Liang is the Director of Pulmonary Integrative Medicine at Coastal Pulmonary Associates affiliated with the Scripps Health Network. She also serves as a Voluntary Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine while volunteering for the UCSD Medical Student-Run Free Clinic for uninsured patients. She attributes allopathic medicine and participating in a clinical trial for saving her life from cancer, but integrative therapies, such as mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, and yoga for continuing to maximize her quality of life.
She returned to medical practice after cancer treatment passionate about promoting physician wellness, and teaching mindfulness to patients, healthcare professionals and their students. She was voted as a San Diego Top Doctor in the annual San Diego Magazine “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” survey in 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022 and awarded the 2019 American Lung Association San Diego Lung Health Provider of the Year and Outstanding Mothers Award. She is also the founder of the Mindful Healthcare Collective, an organization that seeks to provide free wellness sessions during the global pandemic, and co-host of the Mindful Healer’s podcast.
During today’s conversation, Ni-Cheng shared some of her inspirations for a life in medicine and the reciprocal relationship of the healer and patient. She talks about the challenges of lack of time and spaciousness in medical work and how mindfulness, by helping her to be present, seemingly opens the space and slows time. On the importance of meaning and joy in medicine, she describes joy and connection and gratitude as balms for wounds that are in healthcare. The Mindful Healthcare Collective that she created with her colleague Dr. Jesse Mahoney in response to the predictable effects the pandemic was having on health professional well-being, continues to be one of many ways that Dr. Liang contributes to helping her colleagues flourish. In this podcast, she states “To be a healthy flourishing healer, we have to make healing ourselves part of our daily practice.” Part of how she heals herself includes dragon boat racing with other breast cancer survivors like herself. Poignantly and inspiring, she shares “There’s something to be said about bringing joy and feeling empowered after the shared experience of suffering.”
Guest: Ni-Cheng Liang, MD, ATSF
Director of Pulmonary Integrative Medicine
Coastal Pulmonary Associates, Scripps Health Network
UCSD Voluntary Assistant Professor of Medicine
X (Twitter): @DrNiChengLiang