To mark the publication of her first children’s book The Birthday of the World: A Story about Finding Light in Everyone and Everything, author and doctor Rachel Naomi Remen offers us insights into her life’s work as a healer and storyteller.


Rachel Naomi Remen, MD is formerly Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and presently a Professor of Family Medicine at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is Founding Director of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, a national training institute for physicians, nurses, medical students, nursing students and other health professionals who wish to practice a health care of compassion, meaning and service and community. She is an internationally recognized medical educator whose innovative discovery model course in professionalism, resiliency and relationship-centered care for medical students, THE HEALER’S ART is taught at more than 80 American medical schools and schools in seven countries abroad, including Australia. Her bestselling books Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings have been published in 21 languages and have more than a million copies in print.


In recognition of her contribution to medicine and medical education, she has received numerous awards including three honorary degrees, the prestigious Bravewell Award as one of the earliest pioneers of Integrative Medicine and Relationship Centered Care and the Gold Cane award from UCSF School of Medicine for embodying and teaching the qualities and values of the true physician. Dr. Remen has a 70-year personal history of chronic illness, and her work is a potent blend of the perspectives and wisdom of physician and patient.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. ”

― Rachel Naomi Remen


“Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering.”

― Rachel Remen


“It has been said that sometimes we need a story more than food in order to live.”

― Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging, p 374

In September, 2022, she published her first book for children: The Birthday of the World: A Story about Finding Light in Everyone and Everything.


From the New York Times bestselling author of Kitchen Table Wisdom, a modern retelling of a timeless story about healing the world by finding light in everyone and everything

In the beginning, there was only darkness, and then a great ray of light ended the darkness and the world was born—the world of a thousand thousand things. It was filled with light. Then something unexpected happened, and the light of the world broke into millions of sparks of light. These sparks fell everywhere. They fell into everyone and everything. This is why you were born and I was born, and why everyone was born—to find the light and change the world. From a beloved author, The Birthday of the World is a beautiful retelling of a timeless story about finding light in the darkness, one spark at a time.


Rachel Naomi Remen is a pioneer in the medicine of the future. With the elegance of simplicity, she shows how physicians can become healers by no longer remaining mere technicians of the human body, but by becoming alchemists of the soul.

–Deepak Chopra, M.D.


Rachel Naomi Remen is nature’s gift to us, a genius of that elusive and crucial capacity, the human heart. She has much to teach us about healing, loving, and living.

–Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of Emotional Intelligence


A book of stunning radiance, authenticity, and power. I laughed and cried my way through it, from beginning to end… Come share in this extraordinary outpouring of human wisdom.

–Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., author of Wherever You Go, There You Are


Read these gorgeous, from-the-soul stories at the risk of burying cynicism, finding hope, learning a good deal more about life and living– and having a damned good time.

–Norman Lear