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From rheumatology to mindfulness

By Priscilla Lynch - 26th May 2024

One doctor’s journey from working in medicine to a complete career change to being a mindfulness practitioner was the subject of a fascinating talk at the Irish Society for Rheumatology (ISR) 2024 Spring Meeting.

Dr Ceara Belviso is a medical doctor and worked for over 20 years in both clinical and non-clinical settings. She now has a new role as owner of ‘Calm with Ceara’ as a mindfulness and positive living coach.

She told the ISR meeting how she had trained to be a rheumatologist in Dublin and the UK and was appointed as a Consultant Rheumatologist in University Hospital Limerick. However, after just 10 months in the post, she took a job in medical affairs for a large pharmaceutical company, where she worked at a senior level for a number of years.

Dr Belviso spoke about the relentless treadmill of pressure and demand in medicine, how in modern life people are overstimulated, and the difficulties in balancing having children with a busy career in medicine.

There was also concern over what people would think if she decided to leave her medical career.

“In 2019 I hit a wall. To anyone looking on, it seemed that I had it all – a great husband and two beautiful children, fabulous friends and family, a beautiful home, and a recent promotion in work. Not to say that everything was picture perfect. In 2016 and 2017 I had undergone risk reduction surgeries due to a BRCA-2 gene mutation. Looking back I really had not dealt with the physical and emotional impact that living with a BRCA mutation had on me. That year I discovered self-compassion and through this mindfulness. Incorporating mindful living into my life one step at a time has gradually brought me to a place of calm fulfilment where I get to embrace both the joy and challenges of life.”

In 2021, Dr Belviso graduated as a mindfulness and positive psychology teacher and now runs her own successful business providing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation for a more balanced life. “Realising that my profession was no longer fulfilling me, I have pivoted away from illness to spreading the value of mindful living, which I believe is so important for us all.”

For more information see www.cearabelviso.com/

Meanwhile, also speaking at the meeting was Prof Frank Behrens, Professor and Head of Clinical Research, Goethe-University and Fraunhofer ITMP Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Prof Behrens discussed advancements in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) management. He noted that in the last couple of years both the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, and the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology had updated their PsA management guidelines to take account of the newest treatments. He also discussed how the use of biologics in appropriate psoriasis patients may prevent them from developing PsA.


Dr Belviso spoke about the relentless treadmill of pressure and demand in medicine, how in modern life people are overstimulated, and the difficulties in balancing having children with
a busy career in medicine

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