Medical School Efforts
Burnout is discussed more openly today than even five years ago, said Dr. Lawlor. “There’s an increasing focus on it in medical school and training, in part due to a lot of well-publicized suicides of both medical students and residents. I think it is garnering the attention it deserves.”
Aviad Haramati, PhD, is the director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education, co-director of the CAM Graduate Program, and a professor in the division of integrative physiology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Through the mind–body medicine program, the medical school offers students stress management skills training, such as meditation and guided imagery, and other programs to foster self-awareness and self care. Since 2002, the program has trained faculty within Georgetown and other institutions.
“I am a firm believer that medical schools need to create curricular interventions to help students develop the skills,” said Dr. Haramati. As part of the course at Georgetown, groups of students and faculty meet weekly to discuss their challenges. “They begin to realize they aren’t alone, and that they can begin to get over the discomfort of studying all the time to be successful.”