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Service-learning Wellness Initiative in the Harvard Medical School Clerkship Curriculum

Purpose: The first aim was to assess if incorporation of a service-based initiative into the curriculum results in professional fulfillment, principally: improved medical student feelings of compassion, contribution, wellness, understanding of community need, and team-building of the student class. The second aim is to report the development of this curriculum project.

Background: Service-learning increases student awareness of community resources, promotes service to the community, team-building through cooperation rather than competition, broadens cultural awareness, and fosters wellness through hands-on contribution.

Methods: The entire class of second year clerkship students volunteered at a local non-profit organization. Students were divided into small groups to work at various team tasks.  Following, the entire group reconvened for teaching reflection. They were asked a value-based qualifier of the experience. They were also asked to provide feedback as an open response. Quantitative data were analyzed using summary statistics, Wilcoxon rank sum and Fischer’s exact test. Content analysis was used to determine themes from the open-ended responses.

Results: 47 students participated, 48.9% of whom were male. Average satisfaction with the intervention was high (mean 4.26 on a 5-point Likert scale), with no difference in satisfaction noted by gender. Positive themes included feelings of contribution, wellness, and team-building, with 9 respondents requesting to repeat the event at regular intervals.

Discussions: It is crucial to investigate different types of wellness interventions throughout UME. Service-based interventions are not adequately studied and may be an important addition to the wellness program as they are a way for students to feel connected to the community they are serving.  

Topics: General Ob-Gyn, Public Health, Team-Based Learning, UME, GME, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Professionalism, Residency Director, Clerkship Director, Faculty, 2019, CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting,

General Information


Intended
Audience
Faculty,Clerkship Director,Residency Director,
Competencies
Addressed
Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Educational
Continuum
GME,UME,
Educational
Focus
Team-Based Learning,Public Health,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Deborah Bartz, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School; Andrea Pelletier, MPH; Natasha Johnson, MD

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