If Your Compassion Does Not Include Yourself, it is Incomplete: A Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga Course for Healthcare Professionals
When a healthcare professional makes a mistake, either real or perceived, what does their inner voice say? For many healthcare professionals, their inner voice can be unhealthy and detrimental to achieving the Quadruple Aim of Healthcare. Without an improved clinical experience on the healthcare professional side, the three other patient-centric aspects will not reach full potential. Most healthcare professionals would find it unconscionable to talk to others the way they talk to themselves. Therefore, the purpose of our course within the Medical School’s humanities elective track was to provide structure and experiences to help first- and second-year medical students develop greater physical, mental, and emotional capacity to utilize reflection and self-awareness tools to help improve their clinical experience. Our experience in teaching this course over the last year tells us that even 5-weeks of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga instruction can have deep effects on students entering the healthcare profession.
Unique from many courses taught at medical schools nationally, this course was taught online during the COVID-19 pandemic by an interprofessional healthcare team, consisting of a health educator, leadership scholar, physical therapist, psychiatrist, and a third-year medical student. With knowledge shared from these disciplines, students learned the comprehensive physiological, psychological, and social benefits to the art and science of meditation and yoga. In addition to directly benefitting the students, this methodology aims to enlighten students about the use of meditation and yoga as therapeutic treatment options in providing whole-person care with their future patients.
Learners that view and engage asynchronously with this poster will:
- identify interprofessional teaching strategies used in this medical school course that focus on developing capacity for mindfulness, meditation, and yoga,
- describe the interprofessional lessons noted by the medical students to be the most impactful for their learning,
- identify examples of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga instruction that align with the Quadruple Aim to contribute to better care of patients and increased wellbeing for both patients and practitioners.
In conclusion, this course offers faculty and students enduring lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and for interprofessional practice. Students learn to be their best ally and take time they need to reset their minds, whether in preparation for exams or to walk into a patient’s room. Faculty learn to bridge the gap between the classroom and the clinic in which we are all teachers, and we are all learners.