The term mindfulness has been bandied about recently and more attention has been paid to the benefits of meditation in almost all segments of society. Medical schools are beginning to take note, with more of them incorporating mindfulness in either their curriculum or as an extracurricular offering to students. This has particular relevance to the prevalence of burnout in the medical profession; schools are trying to help students warn off burnout by equipping them with the tools to manage stress. The Alpert Medical School at Brown is introducing a mindfulness-based curriculum, which aims “to cultivate skills in self-care and resilience.” Meditation sessions will be led by faculty and medical students.
The Association of American Medical Colleges posted an article on “Bringing the Lessons of Mindfulness to Medical School” and described a session they held for 200 academic physicians. Medical students have also written about mindfulness as a means to reduce stress and studies have been done on mindfulness in medical school. The University of Massachusetts Medical School is the first medical school to announce a division dedicated to mindfulness. UMass also posted a video explaining its approach to mindfulness. Stanford also has a mindfulness program as do the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the University of Rochester.
Clearly, medical schools are seeing the positive benefits of mindfulness and no doubt more schools will be incorporating it into their curricula in the future.
–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consultant