Meet James Doty

James Doty, MD, is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of CA, Irvine and medical school at Tulane University. He trained in neurosurgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) and in neuroelectrophysiology focused on the use of evoked potentials to assess the integrity of neurological function. His more recent research interests have focused on the development of technologies using focused beams of radiation in conjunction with robotics and image-guidance techniques to treat solid tumors and other pathologies in the brain and spinal cord. He spent 9 years on active duty service in the U.S. Army Medical Corp.

As director of CCARE, Dr. Doty has collaborated on a number of research projects focused on compassion and altruism including the use of neuro-economic models to assess altruism, use of the CCARE-developed compassion cultivation training in individuals and its effect, assessment of compassionate and altruistic judgment utilizing implanted brain electrodes and the use of optogenetic techniques to assess nurturing pathways in rodents. Presently, he is developing collaborative research projects to assess the effect of compassion training on immunologic and other physiologic determinates of health, the use of mentoring as a method of instilling compassion in students and the use of compassion training to decrease pain.

Dr. Doty is also an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist having given support to a number of charitable organizations including Children as the Peacemakers, Global Healing, the Pachamama Alliance and Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley. These charities support a variety of programs throughout the world including those for HIV/AIDS support, blood banks, medical care in third world countries and peace initiatives. Additionally, he has endowed chairs at major universities including Stanford University and his alma mater, Tulane University. He is on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit foundations including the Dalai Lama Foundation, of which he is chairman and the Charter for Compassion International of which he is vice-chair. He is also on the International Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Dr. Doty also writes for The Huffington Post. He is the author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart (Penguin, 2016).

With Lessons from the Magic Shop, Dr. Doty offers the same transformational practices that helped him overcome great odds en route to becoming a renowned neurosurgeon, neuroscientist, and one of today’s leading voices on the power of love and compassion.

Background info:

We each possess an extraordinary power to realize our greatest potential and live the life we want. Dr. James Doty is living proof, as so many readers of his bestseller Into the Magic Shop will attest. Having grown up in an environment of poverty and neglect, James Doty was 12 years old when he walked into a magic shop and met an extraordinary woman who introduced him to a series of teachings that changed the trajectory of his life. With Lessons from the Magic Shop, Dr. Doty offers an in-depth training program with the same transformational practices that helped him overcome great odds en route to becoming a renowned neurosurgeon, neuroscientist, and one of today’s leading voices on the power of love and compassion.

Jim Doty's life illustrates how each of us can make a difference. We can make the world a more compassionate place. I’m sure many people will be moved by this inspiring story to open their hearts and see what they too can do for others.

– His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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