The Rabbit Effect
By Kelli Harding, MD, MPH
The E. Shaver Zoom Webinar Author Series continues! We are excited to welcome Kelli Harding to the panel to discuss her book The Rabbit Effect.
Now out in paperback!
Get your tickets HERE
The Rabbit Effect is a critical, evidence-based framework for heath that synthesizes vast amounts of medical and public health data. Dr. Harding calls for a better health system that treats patients as essential and interconnected parts of a whole. Where we live, work, and play profoundly impacts our health. How we treat each other in our day-to-day lives is critical to immune function, metabolism, and the course of illness.
In the past decade, medicine has seen significant biomedical advances, yet, despite millions of research hours and trillions of dollars, Americans aren’t living longer or healthier lives. In this eye-opening book, Columbia University’s Dr. Kelli Harding asks, what are we missing when it comes to our health? Rabbits offer a clue. In 1978, a seemingly straightforward experiment found that kindness—in the form of an incredibly nurturing researcher who pet and spoke to the lab rabbits as she fed them—made all the difference to health outcomes.
Dr. Kelli Harding discovered the rabbits were just the beginning of a much larger story. Decades of research from academic institutions worldwide illustrate that love, friendship, community, life’s purpose, and our environment can have a far greater impact on our health than anything that happens in the doctor’s office. For instance, hugs have the power to fight off viruses; learning something new or volunteering can add years to your life; napping regularly decreases one’s risk of heart disease; de-stressing during pregnancy may change the DNA of your child; and people living with purpose are more likely to stay healthy.
This book comes at a time when Americans need it most. COVID-19 has made our world smaller, and our interconnectedness clear. The events of 2020 have amplified its message. The Rabbit Effect offers practical daily tools to improve our health and increase kindness—especially in times that feel so divided.
About the Author:
Dr. Kelli Harding is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and public health expert. She’s a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Dr. Harding has spent much of her career in the ER at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. A media favorite, she’s appeared on Today, Good Morning America, BBC World, C-SPAN, NPR, and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Medscape, Oprah.com, Readers Digest, and Parents Magazine. Dr. Harding lives in NYC with her husband, Padraic, and three boys (seventh grade, fifth grade, and second grade).