“The compassion crisis could turn the profession of health care providers from a calling into a job…. Health care needs to be a calling. Walking with people through the worst, most intimate moments of their lives is a sacred thing.”


– Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli

Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference


The Contemplative Medicine Fellowship is a twelve-month training for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who want to lead change in the culture of care. The fellowship is designed to immerse participants in the true experience of the alleviation of suffering in their personal and professional lives. The core training of contemplative medicine is based in the practices of wisdom, ethics, and contentment as prescribed by the historical Buddha 2,600 years ago and equally relevant today. Together fellows will explore how to integrate and apply these foundational understandings to all relationships. This innovative program cultivates and supports leaders among fellows committed to addressing the real and significant challenges in caring for a suffering world.

Take part in this unique opportunity to restore resilience, well-being, and joy to healthcare.


Shaped by the vision of Co-Founders, Sensei Chodo Robert Campbell and Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, the Zen Center has proven itself a leader in developing and teaching Contemplative Care as a means of addressing the crisis in healthcare. We understand Contemplative Care as an approach to care that nurtures the flow of wholehearted intimacy, connection, and awareness naturally available between individuals.


Now in its fourteenth year, the Zen Center’s contemplative care training has found expression through many forms, including:


  • Pioneering evidence-based research with the LTSS Center at UMass Boston measuring the impact of our contemplative approach to care

  • Providing graduate and post-graduate curriculum and instructions around contemplative care practices for leading integrative physicians and nurse practitioners through appointments as faculty in two international medical fellowships

  • Launching the groundbreaking Foundations in Contemplative Care nine-month training program for professional and volunteer caregivers

  • Developing Contemplative Orientation to Resilience (COR), an evidence-based healthcare intervention that introduces contemplative practice as the foundation for resilience in the workplace

  • Establishing the first nationally accredited Clinical Buddhist Chaplaincy program in the country

  • Creating a dynamic and clinically oriented Buddhist track of studies within the New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) Master of Pastoral Care and Counseling degree program


Over more than a decade of engagement in healthcare environments, we have heard again and again from clinicians that those providing care must receive the training and support needed to enhance resilience, nurture compassion, and sustain well-being on both sides of the healthcare equation, and a contemplative approach to care is critical in addressing these gaps.


Building on our experience and expertise in Contemplative Care education and training, the Zen Center is launching the Contemplative Medicine Fellowship* —a program specifically developed for practicing physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Unlike most traditional fellowships, the fellowship clinical site is the clinician’s own place of practice, and the fellowship is designed to support existing clinical responsibilities.

Fellows learn to put into practice the contemplative approach to care which:


  • Benefits patients by improving clinical encounters and relationships with HCPs providing a more intimate and nourishing experience

  • Benefits physicians and nurse practitioners by helping to reduce individual and team burnout and stress while promoting resilience and new meaning for HCPs

  • Benefits health care systems by promoting behaviors that support improved care delivery, productive and easeful relationships among staff, reduced turnover, and cost reduction

Fellowship details


Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who are collaborators and changemakers aspiring to serve as leaders in transforming the culture of care for themselves, their patients, and the health systems within which they practice will get the most out of the Fellowship.

Although the fellowship is designed to be supportive of a practicing clinician’s life, it is an intensive training program requiring each fellow’s wholehearted engagement.


The program welcomes applicants from any background who have had an ongoing personal contemplative practice (e.g., meditation, yoga, centering prayer, etc.) for at least six months, have participated in a contemplative retreat, and share a commitment to exploring the intersection of contemplative practice, healthcare, and social action.


The program is currently accepting applications from licensed clinicians who are practicing and plan to continue practicing during and after the fellowship as physicians (MD and DO), nurse practitioners or physician assistants. Clinicians of other professions who are interested in this program may wish to apply for our nine-month Foundations in Contemplative Care training.


Applications for the 2022-23 academic year are now accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.


Space is limited. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Once the Fellowship is fully enrolled, applications will be held for the following academic year.


To apply:


When all materials are received, we will review your application, conduct a background check, and if appropriate, contact you to set up an interview via Skype or Zoom.


After the interview, you will be notified regarding your acceptance.


No, we welcome individuals from any or no formal tradition.

No, applicants need not be part of a formal spiritual community.

The program welcomes applicants from any background who have had an ongoing personal contemplative practice (e.g., meditation, yoga, centering prayer, etc.) for at least six months, have participated in a contemplative retreat, and share our commitment to exploring the intersection of contemplative practice, healthcare, and social action.

At NYZC, we practice the contemplative practice of zazen, or Zen meditation, as a foundational practice in our Contemplative Care training. However, contemplative practices are broad-ranging and unique to individuals and communities—inclusive of meditation, prayer, and deep listening. Please see The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s The Tree of Contemplative Practices, for a more comprehensive exploration of diverse contemplative practices.

Monthly Saturday training days are held virtually via Zoom.

Please see Residential Retreats for information about the opening and closing retreats.

Applications for the 2022-23 academic year are now being accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Click here to learn more about the application process.

Click to learn more about the application process.

Need more information?

Submit your contact details and we will get back to you to answer any of your questions about the Contemplative Medicine Fellowship.

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New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
119 West 23rd Street, 401
New York, NY, 10011, United States

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*A project supported by the Dr. Robert Ira Lewy Contemplative Care Initiative

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