The SMILE Scale™: A Tool for Health

To be healthier, we don't need more information. We need a system. This keynote provides a simple strategy to prioritize our physical and mental health. 


  • Understand five key components of healthy living

  • Build a consistent approach to prioritize health

  • Understand how socioeconomic factors affect health at all levels, such as sleep deprivation due to lack of a living wage, food deserts, and chronic stress

  • Discuss personal and societal factors that can improve health for clinicians and patients 

Cultivating Compassion in Medicine

Showing compassion is not only essential for the patients we serve, it is also protective for clinicians. In this talk, medical trainees will: 


  • Learn why compassion matters

  • Build skills to communicate with intention and clarity

  • Discuss the social determinants of health and how these factors lead to health disparities  

  • Understand how social justice and humanism in medicine are intertwined



  • Humanism in medicine for patients and clinicians. Presented to the Canadian Association of Women Investigator Trainees. February 2, 2021.

  • The SMILE Scale: Your health matters. Presented to medical students at Indiana University School of Medicine. February 1, 2021.

  • Developing compassion and prioritizing our health in medical training. Presented to pre-medical students at Oakland University. January 20, 2021.

  • Humanism in medicine for patients and clinicians. Presented to medical students at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, January 19, 2021. 

  • Health disparities and humanism in medicine. Presented to Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. July 22, 2020. 

  • Cultivating compassion in medicine. Presented at the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) Annual Meeting, March 29, 2020. 

  • Prioritizing our health during COVID-19. Virtually presented to Rush Generations (a health community of approximately 6000 adults) on April 27, 2020.

  • The SMILE Scale: A tool for clinical health. Presented at the Aurora Advocate Annual Nursing Conference, October 29, 2020, Chicago, IL.

  • Hope without the Hype: Finding the Right Balance with Advertisements and Science News. Presented with Dr. Barry Kramer at the National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO) and Public Affairs and Marketing Network (PAMN) Annual Conference, April, 2017, Lexington, KY.




  • Podcast "Burnt Out to Lit Up," with Erika del Pozo.

  • Podcast "More Happiness Less Suffering," with Monisha Vasa and Cayce Howe.

  • Podcast "Admissions Straight Talk," with Linda Abrams.

  • Podcast "Our Lives in Medicine," with resident physician hosts. 


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© 2021 by Laura Vater. All rights reserved.