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Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.
Karen M. Wyatt, MD is a family physician who has spent much of her 25 year career as a hospice medical director, caring for dying patients on their homes. The author of "What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying," Dr. Wyatt has lectured and written extensively on end-of-life issues with an emphasis on the spiritual aspect of illness and dying.

Entries by Karen M. Wyatt, M.D.

3 Tips for Maintaining a Spiritual Practice While You Travel

(1) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 10:08 AM

As I write this I am preparing to leave for a 17-day trip abroad. I truly love to travel and have found that immersing myself in territories and cultures that have previously been unknown to me is one of the best ways to disrupt my "status quo" and spark new...

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Why You Can't Find What You're Looking For

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 8:13 AM

Over the course of my life I have been known for having a gift for finding things. I'm not sure how this happened because I am actually a bit scatter-brained and disorganized in my personal life and frequently misplace, and sometimes lose, my own possessions. But for some reason I...

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Finding Love in a Hopeless Place

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 12:39 PM

My daughter recently introduced me to the song "We Found Love (in a Hopeless Place)" and ever since I heard it I have been obsessed with the title. The idea of love arising where there is hopelessness is so intriguing and appealing to me that I haven't been able to...

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Something From Nothing: Getting Through My Grief

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 9:36 PM

I recently marked the one-year anniversary of my mother's death. I was with her throughout the week before she passed away and had the privilege of shepherding her through that transition -- a moment I had been preparing for since I first became a hospice physician. I knew many years...

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5 Keys to Finding Meaning in Later Life

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 7:47 AM

In my work as a hospice physician I found that most of my patients desperately needed to talk about life and whatever meaning it holds as they looked back from the vantage point of their last days on this planet. For many of them it was very important to know...

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The Legacy Letters: A Must-Read Book of Wisdom for Life

(3) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 4:37 PM

If you're looking for a good book to curl up with on a chilly autumn night, I have the perfect suggestion for you: The Legacy Letters by Carew Papritz. This remarkable book will take you by the hand and lead you on a gentle and inspiring journey through...

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A Precious Breath of Air for a World Under Water

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 12:33 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Some days it's hard to be optimistic when you consider the madness of this world. On the worst days mankind seems destined for meaningless self-destruction that...

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What Marathon Runners Can Teach Us About Coping With Suffering

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 8:16 AM

We are picking up the pieces once again from a great tragedy that has taken innocent lives and shattered our sense of safety in the world. Again we see before our eyes that what is good and noble on the Earth can be brought down in an instant by the...

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Blessed Are They Who Mourn

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 2:19 PM

On Good Friday, I made my final visit to the house I grew up in, which has been sitting empty, for the first time in 60 years, since my mother's death this past January. I have spent the last two months clearing out her possessions to prepare the house for...

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Coping With the Sandy Hook Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 9:40 AM

The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14 has provided a terrible reminder that tragedy is just one heartbeat away from our own doorsteps. As we read the details of that horrific scene, hear the stories of the survivors and see the unbearable pain...

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What Doctors Need to Learn About Death and Dying

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 12:49 PM

The old man and the young woman sat across from one another stiffly perched on plastic chairs, staring down at the floor -- doctor and patient. The tension in the room, exaggerated by the silence between them, was almost unbearable. Then the patient, stroking a trembling, emaciated hand across a...
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Finding Maria: Spiritual Care and Alzheimer's Disease

(7) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 1:25 PM

A few weeks ago during a lecture I was giving on the spiritual care of hospice and palliative patients, an audience member asked me how I would suggest providing for the spiritual needs of a patient with end-stage dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. His question was quite relevant since Alzheimer's...

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Love Needs No Words

(4) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 6:47 AM

As a writer and storyteller, I have always had a love affair with words. My two favorite books are my dictionary and thesaurus, and I have been known to blissfully while away hours of free time working the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. Words... complete me. They are my...

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What Dying Can Teach Us About Saving the World

(8) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Life has a way of leading us to unexpected places.

As for me, back when I was a hospice physician making house calls to care for the dying patients on our service I never dreamed that I would one day write a book about that experience. I didn't know that...

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