Early in his medical career oncologist Ravi Patel, M.D. treated his cancer patients by the book. But it wasn’t long before he realized that there had to be a better way. Dr. Patel recognized that cancer patients needed more care and attention—both medical and emotional—than most patients. So in 1984, Dr. Patel founded the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in Bakersfield, California, to deliver his vision of proper cancer care to his patients.
And now, nearly 30 years later, the Center is one of the largest free standing cancer centers in a private practice setting in the western United States, with nearly 300 employees.
Dr. Patel also understood the intense stresses, both physical and emotional, of his health care providers who served his cancer patients. A long time practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique himself, Dr. Patel decided in 2009 to offer the technique to his employees as part of a companywide wellness program.
The video below documents the effect that the TM program has had on CBCC.
Excerpts from the video:
Laura Stevenson, Registered Occupational Therapist
“I had heard about TM and read about its benefits. I thought it would really help me (and that) it would help patients deal with stress….”
“The first time (I practiced TM) was like an epiphany. It was, ‘Wow, I didn’t know I could feel quite this relaxed.’ It was very, very nice….
“My blood pressure has definitely gone down. I sleep better, much better when I meditate twice a day. It’s a non-pharmaceutical way to deal with stress. I think everyone should do it. You know, stress relief, every single person could benefit from this and it’s easy.”
Dr. Ajay Desai, Radiation Oncologist
“Being a physician is very stressful. There are a lot of casualties of that stress. You see that in many different ways like depression, substance abuse…
“The most important thing I’ve noticed is TM increases my productivity. I feel more energetic. I’m able to deal with a lot of those time pressing issues much better.”
Julie Leach, Director of Clinical Research:
“I could not believe how easy TM was. When you’re done you just take a moment and sit there and collect your thoughts and there’s just a nice calming effect….
“I think my staff would tell you I’m calmer. That has been my most noticeable, best benefit. I was having a particularly challenging day and had been out discussing what had needed to be done with the other person involved and he looked at me and he said, ‘you’re really calm about all this.’ And I just looked at him and said, ‘it’s TM.’”
Dr. Ravi Patel, CBCC Founder
“It’s good to see how the people that have learned the TM are interacting. There’s a deeper harmony, a much more easy ability to communicate and work with each other.
“Anybody can come and walk around our building, anytime actually, and they’ll notice all the people are happy and the patients are happy and the staff is happy. The TM program for us is useful because it has allowed us to really streamline our focus in good patient care.”
Sue Ellen Jenkins, Nuclear Medical Technologist
“As an employee I feel very blessed to work for a company that would invest in me as far as how that affects the ability to deal with your customers, your patients. It’s a win win situation for everybody….
“When you walk through the clinic, there’s an air here of hope, there’s an air commonality among the staff. Come here and feel the environment and you tell me, what’s the difference.”