Sep 272010
Authors: Emily Koziel

Confidence: the belief in one’s self. Dr. Larry Dossey’s confidence: his belief in spirituality and medicine.

Having been involved in research at the Geller Center for Spiritual Development, Dossey has made some very interesting conclusions about health and one’s spirituality.

Dossey spoke to a crowd of a couple hundred Monday night in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom about the power of combining spirituality with medicine.

According to Dossey, in the beginning of his medical practice, only three medical schools in the U.S. had programs designed to teach students about the healing powers of spirituality. Now it is “90 or more schools,” Dossey said.

From 2002 to 2003, the US Department of Health and Human Services increased funding to faith-based groups by 41 percent, according to Journal of the American Medical Association. Today, 66 percent of the nation’s 125 medical schools now include courses on spirituality and faith, according to Bravewell Collaborative, a community focused on transforming health care.

And while Dossey emphasized the power of religion in his lecture, he was silent concerning his own religious preferences. He said he’s unaffiliated.

“I’m not promoting any religion or religious organization,” Dossey said.

Though some of the people at the event were concerned he would use his lecture to “preach,” he used his time to form a connection between spirituality and health.

A great deal more doctors pray before surgeries or even accompany their patient and pray with them, he said. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health in 2005, 73 percent of critical-care nurses said they use prayer in their work.

“People who follow a religious path tend to have a longer and healthier life,” Dossey said.

Staff writer Emily Koziel can be reached at

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