Barbara Loeb, MD, is an author, speaker, mentor, facilitator, and physician leader committed to promoting well-being, especially for people working within healthcare. She believes that individuals devoted to caring for others, often lose sight of their own need to take care of themselves. Her work is focused on inspiring caregivers to do just that.
In her first book “How to Save a Life: Healing Power of Poetry”, Dr. Loeb utilizes the principles of presence, reflection, self-awareness, and self-compassion to create poetry which brings us along on her personal healer’s journey. She inspires the reader to reflect on their own individual path to well-being through self-expression, creativity, and discovery of inner wisdom. By sharing her poems and introspective travels, she reveals the great strength one can build through engaging in this type of process.
Dr. Loeb started her 40-year career in health care as a primary care physician founding and growing an internal medicine group practice that provided care to thousands of patients and multiple generations of families. To have a larger impact on healthcare, she expanded her work into medical staff leadership roles as department chairman and medical staff president at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, part of Advocate Aurora Health one of the 12 largest not-for-profit, integrated health systems in the United States.
After transitioning her practice to become part of Advocate Aurora Health, she moved into a number of chief medical officer roles for other health systems, hospitals, physician networks, and health plans including Presence Health, Tenet Healthcare, Trinity Health, and Land of Lincoln Health (a co-op insurance plan founded under the ACA). She also served as an independent consultant for the Studer Group and other consultancies, sharing her expertise on improving physician communication and leadership skills.
Throughout her career, she became highly aware of the balance she had to keep between her work responsibilities and those of her personal life as a spouse, mother, and daughter. From all these vantage points, she both observed, as well as experienced, the same constant challenges as her physician colleagues: fatigue, lack of self-care, and burnout. To cultivate her own well-being, she developed her own restorative ritual, combining mindfulness, writing, and building deeper connections with her patients and colleagues. She intensified this practice during the challenges of the pandemic.
Dr. Loeb shares this knowledge and facilitates learning with colleagues through speaking, writing, mentoring, and facilitating groups. Her focus is on building mindfulness and the humanities in healthcare which she promotes in her work with both narrative medicine and mindful practice groups and initiatives.