Profile: Dr. Elliot Dacher, founder of the Meditation and Mindfulness program

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Elliott Dacher has been leading the meditation program at Martha's Vineyard Hospital for 10 years. — Sam Moore
Dr. Dacher, what originally brought you to Martha’s Vineyard?
In the 1970s I moved to Boston to complete my internal medicine residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now known as Brigham and Women’s Hospital). I traveled to the Island one weekend a month, serving as the emergency room doctor at the hospital.
What made you give up practicing internal medicine?
It became apparent to me that stress was a significant contributor to my patients’ medical problems. My medical education did not train me to address these health concerns, and that’s when I began my studies of meditation and health promotion.
What led you to offer your course at the hospital?
The course was originally offered to hospital employees as part of a stress management and wellness program. Now it’s open to the public also.
What’s most gratifying about teaching mindfulness and meditation?
Experiencing how significant life changes predictably occur with meditation training — a quieter mind and an ease with day-to-day life can be achieved by any individual.