Faculty Feature: Kate Shafto

Kate Shafto, MD

Kate Shafto, MD is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and recently Integrative Medicine after completing a a two year fellowship through the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Her current practice at the University of Minnesota provides outpatient Integrative Health consults for adults and children. She has been at the University of Minnesota since 2012, initially as a med-peds hospitalist, and has grown into various roles teaching medical students and residents.  She is the Course Director for Foundations of Critical Thinking, a required first and second year medical school course taught in small groups with case-based learning.  

Kate also co-teaches a course she co-developed called Food Matters (with Chef/MPH Jenny Breen), a class using food and cooking to teach applied nutrition as it relates to health and disease. This class was piloted for medical students and has been expanded to include health professional students from all disciplines, offered for 1 credit through the Center for Spirituality and Healing. She is active in several well-being initiatives with medical students and residents, seeking to bring about a culture of better self-care in the medical field. Her Global Health Faculty role includes assisting with the online GH Course, oversight of the pre-departure orientation for GH Pathway residents traveling abroad and being the site director for Global Peds' and Medicine's partnership with an NGO in Cochabamba, Bolivia (A Breeze of Hope/CUBE). 
She is regularly involved in the work there which included speaking at their first International Conference on Best Practices in Caring for Victims of Sexual Violence last June. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband, speaking Spanish, cooking, yoga, music, biking, hiking, skiing, travel, and experiencing other cultures locally and abroad.

Favorite quote: from The Summer Day by Mary Oliver. "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" & "What we practice grows stronger" by Shauna Shapiro, PhD quoting an unnamed Buddhist monk 
Favorite travel destination: most recently, the Andes of Peru where my husband and I backpacked through remote areas of the Sacred Valley and ancient Inca ruins. 
What the world needs more of: People who slow down, take a deep breath, really see each other and then speak, make decisions or act. We need to recover a reasonable pace of life, and reconnect with nature and with each other. 
If you were not a physician, you would be: A teacher, writer and speaker. But these are all things I am developing in my career as a physician. The word "doctor" actually means, from its Latin roots, teacher. And increasingly I see the need to teach our patients how to care for themselves given that the majority of chronic disease is related to lifestyle and environmental factors.