Abstract ID: 3645

Primary Topic: Curriculum design and development
Secondary Topic: Teaching, learning, and assessment
Tertiary Topic: Mind-body (including meditation and yoga)

Combination Guided Meditation and Yoga and Medical Student Stress Reduction
Brenna Beck, BA, MEd; Sheena Patel, B.S.; Zofia Kozak, BS; Delia Chiaramonte, MD, , Baltimore, MD, United States

Category: Education

Late Breaker: No

Overview

Background:

Medical students regularly experience high levels of stress related to high-stakes testing, sleep deprivation, and demanding schedules. This places students at particularly high risk for the ill-effects of elevated stress, including depression, substance abuse, and overall deterioration of mental health. The benefits of mindfulness or guided meditation and physical exercise on stress levels are well documented. We hypothesize that self-reported stress in medical students at a US medical school would decrease after participation in combination guided meditation and yoga sessions.

Program Description/Teaching Point:

An 8-week program of weekly 1 hour sessions has been made available to first and second year medical students at a US medical school for the past 2 years, including guided mindfulness meditation combined with yoga practice, led by a physician trained in these techniques. The program, sponsored by the medical student-led Complimentary and Integrative Medicine Interest Group (CIMIG) occurs twice yearly. To date, the efficacy of these sessions in reducing stress among students has not been studied. A simple web-based self-reporting tool has been designed for use in the upcoming program. Participants will be prompted to report relative stress on a 10-point Likert scale prior to beginning the program as a baseline, before and after each session, and following the completion of the 8-session program. We hypothesize that self-reported stress among students will decrease following session participation.

Conclusion:

A combination program of weekly mindfulness meditation and yoga practice for medical students has been implemented, however the effects of these sessions has not been studied. The student leadership of CIMIG has designed and implemented this project to measure self-reported stress among medical student participants in these stress-reduction activities.