HSC Education Days

Title

Initiating a Mindfulness and Meditation Program for Medical Students and Others

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

2-3-2023

Abstract

Background: In 2021, we introduced a SEAC-funded mindfulness intervention to medical students. Our goal was to provide a course that was accessible and free of charge in a psychologically safe environment. Mindfulness is a proven strategy for reducing negative stress-related health outcomes. Design: All students enrolled in the UNM SOM were invited to participate in a 6-session mindfulness curriculum designed for healthcare professionals and adapted for use based on student input. The 6 sessions were offered over Zoom. Our goal was to have participants attend each of the sessions and complete a pre- and post-course survey. Due to delays in the IRB process, completion of a pre and post survey was voluntary and yielded 3 responses. Results: 8-10 medical students attended each weekly session. Students were engaged during the sessions and indicated that they were incorporating the practice into their daily routine. Students expressed interest in ongoing weekly sessions after the course ended. Discussion: The number of students who participated was small compared to the number of eligible students. We learned that ZOOM is an effective way to teach mindfulness and that community can be built using this medium. Students who participated shared openly and felt positive about the course. As a result of this program, students and faculty introduced new mindfulness initiatives. Mindfulness was offered as a brief workshop during the spring wellness retreat for the Class of 2025. A weekly zoom mindfulness session was created for the HSC community. This weekly series continues one year after it started. Students launched a new student-led weekly mindfulness session with faculty support. Challenges in doing this work include low participation and the wide availability of mindfulness content on-line. The steady group of participants, however, have benefitted from the skills they have learned and the communities they have built.

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