Karen Lawson, MD

Karen Lawson

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-626-3817

Fax 612-626-3817

Office Address:
C509 Mayo Memorial Bldg

Mailing Address:
C509 Mayo Memorial Bldg, MMC 505
420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Karen Lawson, MD, is teaching faculty at the Center for Spirituality & Healing, where she leads the integrative medical education efforts, teaches about Shamanism, and directs all Health Coaching activities, including the Health Coaching track in the post-baccalaureate certificate program, outside consulting contracts, and research efforts. Since that time, her wide-ranging experience has included work as an integrative medicine consultant, and as a physician in emergency medicine and family practice. She is the former medical director of Lamat Medical Corporation in San Diego, Calif., and of The Wege Institute for Mind, Body and Spirit at St. Mary's Mercy Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.

She has studied shamanic medicine since the mid 1990's and also brings expertise in meditation, yoga, dance/movement therapies and nutrition. Karen's special interests include rites of passage and rituals for healing.

In her current position, Karen is active in undergraduate and graduate medical education, faculty development, and graduate studies.

Dr. Lawson is a published author and researcher, and speaks nationally to diverse audiences on the power and potential of integrated and holistic health care practices.


Research Summary/Interests

  • Health Coaching
  • Health Professional Wellbeing


  • Thomas MR, Dyrbye LN, Huntington JL, Lawson KL, Novotny PJ, Sloan JA, Shanafelt TD. How do distress and well-being relate to medical student empathy? A multicenter study in American medical students. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2007 Feb;22(2):177-83.
  • "Personal Life Events and Medical Student Burnout: A Multicenter Study," by Liselotte N. Dyrbye, M.D., Matthew R. Thomas, M.D., Tait D. Shanafelt, M.D., Karen L. Lawson, M.D., Jefrey L. Huntington, B.Sc., Paul J. Novotny, M.S., Jeff A. Sloan, Ph.D. Academic Medicine, 2006, 81:374-384.
  • "Roots and Wings: A Pilot of a Mind-Body-Spirit Program," by K. L. Lawson, MD and K. Horneffer, PhD. J. of Holistic Nursing, September, 2002, Vol. 20, No. 3:250-263.
  • "An Experiential Model for Teaching Comparative Systems of Medicine," by K Lawson, P Hart, and L Zhang. North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine, sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers in Integrative Medicine, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, May, 2006.
  • "A Multicenter Study of the Impact of Personal Life Events on Burnout and Depression in American Medical Students," by L Dyrbye, M Thomas, J Huntington, K Lawson, P Novotny, J Sloan, T Shanafelt. American Association of Medical Colleges, 2005 annual conference.
  • "A Multicenter Study Evaluating the Effects of Personal Well-being on Specialty Choice Among U.S. Medical Students," by M R Thomas, L N Dyrbye, J L Huntington, K Lawson, P Novotny, J Sloan and T Shanafelt. Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), oral presentation for September 2005 annual meeting.
  • "A Multicenter Study Comparing Burnout, Depression and Quality of Life in Minority and Non-minority Medical Students in the US," by L N Dyrbye, M R Thomas, J L Huntington, K Lawson, P Novotny, J Sloan and T Shanafelt. Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), oral presentation for September 2005 annual meeting.
  • "An Integrated Approach to Women with Eating Disorders in a Residential Treatment Setting: An Observational Study from the Anna Westin House," by Karen Lawson, MD, and Robyn Swenson, PhD. University of MN Women's Health Research Conference 2004: Advancing Women's Health—Cultivating Interdisciplinary Research. (poster presentation)