Resilience-building for 1st year students

"A resilience-building course for 1st year students" Dr Jonathan Hales, Medical and Social Care Education

Presented at the 3rd Annual Learning and Teaching Conference on Tuesday 30 June 2015.



As in many fields, the ability to be resilient is becoming increasingly important for sustained employability in the medical arena.  In the UK the average age at which female GPs leave the profession is 34.  Most new GPs find that they cannot cope with more than a three-day week and many practices are finding it hard to recruit partners.  Leicester University’s counsellors report that medical student consultations are disproportionately over-represented.  Our medical students are aware of the pre- and post-registration pressures and need a curriculum that will increase their resilience and promote a healthy, lifelong employability.  To this end an assessable Health Enhancement Programme will be delivered to 1st year Leicester medical students from 2016-17.  Mindfulness practice (living with present moment awareness) is a longitudinal theme within the programme, in which lectures provide a strong, taught, scientific evidence base for seven pillars of healthy living (education, stress reduction, exercise, nutrition, spirituality, connectedness and environment).  Associated tutorials encourage experiential learning, enhancing the students’ ability to knowledgeably and empathically promote positive health behaviours in themselves and in their future patients.  Students will have the opportunity to transfer learnt resilience skills to their year-mates and upcoming cohorts, enhancing the sustained employability of the student body as a whole.  The programme has the potential, with minor adaptation, to promote life-long employability in Leicester students of all disciplines.

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