In 2018, researchers at an unspecified urban, academic institution published a study showing that spending several weeks in mindfulness meditation training, followed by regular practice, is a worthwhile investment for clinical year medical students in terms of your immediate and long-term wellness.
The researchers developed training in mindfulness meditation that fit into the 4-week time frame of an Emergency Medicine 4th year clerkship. Why EM? According to the 2018 Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report, Emergency Medicine has one of the highest levels of burnout in practicing physicians
In this study, fourth-year medical students completed an intensive program consisting of:
- weekly classroom sessions
- daily meditation and journaling
- developing a personalized wellness plan under the guidance of a mentor
After just 4-weeks of training, students meditated and practiced mindfulness. The researchers found that the students:
- experienced lasting changes that helped them better cope with stresses
- recommended mindfulness and meditation to others
- better appreciated the importance of wellness
- had more confidence in their use of mindfulness and meditation
And the effects proved to be long-lasting.
Give It A Try
If you are struggling as a result of stresses in your medical training and your institution offers mindfulness training, consider getting the training, especially if you plan to enter a specialty with a high rate of burnout (such as Emergency Medicine).
Even if your medical school’s program has not integrated mindfulness training into your medical curriculum, it probably exists somewhere in the medical center – look around. Or ask that your medical school offer it, so it can fit into the already jam-packed curriculum. You can also find more information, as well as other resources, on our website.
- Join us to help us understand the problem and create solutions to address burnout. We seek to provide a data-driven remedy for the disturbing burnout seen in medical students and practicing physicians.
- Help us expand our understanding of the problem as we collect anonymous experiences and survey data from future medical students, medical students, students’ support system, and medical faculty.
- Guide us as we develop solutions to guide personal resilience and institutional change including:
- a medical student stress tracking and managing app to uncover triggers and trends via daily check-ins, note taking, and weekly stress reports for Android and Alexa
- a 2D prototype, simulation-based experience to face the challenges of medicine and test out problems and solutions in a safe environment
- a 3D Oculus Go-based immersive headset simulation experience to participate in scenario game-play
We need your input and help as we develop our solutions. Visit our website and see what we are up to so we can reverse the disturbing pattern seen in the above study of MS1s and MS3s.
- Chung Arlene S, Felber Rachel, Han Ethan, Mathew Tina, Rebillot Katie, Likourezos Antonios. A Targeted Mindfulness Curriculum for Medical Students During Their Emergency Medicine Clerkship Experience. West J Emerg Med. July 2018;19(4):762-766. doi:10.5811/westjem.2018.4.37018.
- Pekham C. Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2018. MedScape. January 17, 2018.