Abstract ID: 3475

Primary Topic: Teaching, learning, and assessment
Secondary Topic: Interprofessional education

Transformational learning in educating health care professionals for Integrative Medicine and Health
Christian Scheffer, MD, MME; Diethard Tauschel, MD, Witten Herdecke University, Faculty for Health, Witten, Germany; Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN; Sian Cotton, PhD, , Cincinnati, OH, United States

Late Breaker: No


Transformational learning is the process of deep, constructive, and meaningful learning that goes beyond simple knowledge acquisition and supports critical ways in which learners consciously make meaning of their lives. Meaning making is central for patients to cope with diseases in a productive way as well as in students to become engaged and self-reflected heath care professionals. This session will discuss different educational interventions to foster transformational learning in different stages of education in different educational settings including:

  • The beginning of undergraduate medical education: learning workshop to become a self-directed learner at medical school
  • During undergraduate education of health care professional students: an interprofessional student wellness retreat
  • At the end of undergraduate medical education: supported active participation at integrative clinical education wards
  • Creating a learner centered environment


For patients, suffering with an illness is strongly connected with transformational experiences questioning the way of living in a fundamental way. In order to prepare future health care professionals to support patients in such challenging situations, learning is needed promote the transformation from the student role to a responsible health care professional. We will present and discuss different student centered educational activities to promote transformational learning based on exposing to and guiding students in life changing experiences in different settings. A focus will be on collaborative learning with peers as well as in interprofessional settings.


Participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the value of transformational learning for health care students
  2. Distinguish different educational methods to promote transformational learning
  3. Describe the value of collaborative learning to support self-reflection and self-transformation.

Methods/Session Format

After an interactive introduction with reflections on the meaning of transformational learning (5 minutes), each speaker will give a presentation of 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of discussion. At the end of all four presentations, 10 minutes will be used for a more general discussion on the topic. (75 minutes total)


  • Learning workshops to promote self-directed learning at medical school (D Tauschel)
  • Interprofessional student wellness retreat (S Cotton)
  • Becoming a doctor: Guiding transformational learning during participation at integrative clinical education wards (C Scheffer)
  • Integrating wellbeing practices into learning environments (MJ Kreitzer)