Encore of “Student Wellness: Stress & Resilience” presentation coming 21/22 August

Attending medical school is stressful. Period. Perhaps even more so for OUM’s non-traditional students who are typically navigating their studies together with families, mortgages, full-time jobs, and many other life experiences.

Reducing that stress is pertinent to everyone at OUM – students, faculty, and staff. That’s one reason the “Student Wellness: Stress & Resilience” presentation by Dr. Mari Brodersen was so well-received at last month’s North American Student Conference in Houston. She will encore the presentation for all OUM students at an information session on 21/22 August.

In July, Dr. Brodersen emphasized taking care of oneself as a pivotal factor affecting one’s success throughout medical school, as well as one’s ability to finish the program and graduate. Her central topics included stress, burnout, and resilience:

Stress: Dr. Brodersen spoke about how to resolve an intense situation so that it is not prolonged more than a day or two.

Burnout: A situation that requires intervention, burnout may be avoided by knowing when to ask for help before stress develops. Untreated burnout may lead to depression, anxiety, and hostility, and may impact relationships with family and peers.

Resilience: Referring to how one bounces back from stress or burnout, resilience and the ability to develop self-resilience involves realizing that individuals are responsible for their own words and actions. It is hoped this will lead to better proactive judgement and stop stress from developing, she said.

“Mindfulness, or paying attention to one’s current feelings and emotions in a non-judgmental way, is an excellent strategy for practicing resilience,” said Dr. Brodersen.

Some attendees saw themselves in the situations Dr. Brodersen shared. She showed them how to self-assess and recognize the signs of burnout, encouraging them to apply her recommendations to see if they could find relief. She also discussed different types of stress and how they occur.

“Some stress is good and actually increases performance, but too much stress becomes distress,” said Dr. Brodersen, also pointing out the importance of establishing family support to approach when stressful situations are developing. This support may reduce stress, stop burnout, and develop resilience.

“I was glad to see the integration of wellness issues amongst doctors-in-training being discussed in the open and not in whispers,” commented second-year student James Seal at the Student Conference.

Watch Moodle for information regarding the Student Information Session. It will also be recorded for those unable to attend the live session.

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