Medical students, who practice Transcendental Meditation, have a vital healthcare option to suggest to patients based on their own experience as well as the evidence from research .
by Harmour Fraser Hodder at Enjoy TM News, 2016 Change-Makers of the Year
16 January 2017
Everyone quotes the old adage “Physician, heal thyself,” but how? The medical profession is in desperate need of support due to high levels of stress and widespread burnout. Thanks to Transcendental Meditation (TM) teachers and change-making educators Carla Brown, Ed.D, and Duncan Brown, M.A., this need is finally being met in a fundamental way. For the first time, the TM program is being offered as an elective course at a major American medical school.
Working with the deans and faculty of the Stritch School of Medicine, affiliated with Loyola University in Chicago, Carla and Duncan Brown created a “blended curriculum” that enables med students to learn the TM technique and attend lectures by leading doctors and researchers about the scientific research on the health benefits of TM and the methodology behind its effectiveness. Medical students improve their own health while learning how it can help their future patients.
In a recent article in Chicago Medicine, Dr. Brown, adjunct professor, and Dr. Gregory Gruener, vice-dean for education at Stritch, comment that “students can easily take control of their own wellness by gaining deep rest and improving brain functioning with twice-daily TM practice.”
The authors report that one medical student was experiencing so much stress and anxiety, she feared she couldn’t sustain a career in medicine, let alone the passion that led her there. But after enrolling in the Stritch elective “Physician Wellness through Transcendental Meditation,” she was getting more out of each day and enjoying her work again.
“There is also a new relaxed state and excitement about the way in which I engage, because of my experience with self-care and TM,” she said. “The stress of our career will always be present, so it is important that as physicians we learn to eliminate it, rather than just manage it. These experiences have made me very excited for my future career as a physician.”
Such doctors-to-be also now have a vital healthcare option to suggest to patients, note Drs. Brown and Gruener. “Having TM as a tool means our students can recommend something that they know will help, based upon their own experience and upon substantial evidence. They can avoid burnout and maintain their enthusiasm for practicing medicine,” they write.
“Our students have demonstrated that we can join them in restoring our own balance, enthusiasm, and mastery. . . . by making our profession a more rewarding experience while also offering something of great value for our patients.”
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