The College of Medicine is dedicated to teaching students how to maintain their personal wellness throughout their time in medical school and beyond. To provide students with more opportunities to learn new strategies for maintaining their wellness and how to prioritize wellness in their everyday lives, the College of Medicine offers three elective courses that are designed to give students the skills and insight necessary for maintaining wellness.

HLT 810 Wellness

Leadership, Healers Art, Mindfulness and Compassionate Conversations (4-week rotation)

This course includes the following components: Leadership; Healer’s Art; Mindfulness and Meditation; and Humanities in Medicine. The components of this elective are intentionally symbiotic and will allow for each of you to expand your capacity for self-care, self-reflection, clarity, intention and integrity in your being and actions as human beings and leaders for your patients, family, friends, and colleagues throughout your career. Skills introduced in the course will also provide you ways to maintain compassion with yourself and your patients. There will be some assignments to enhance the value of the course content including the Humanities, arts, reflective writing, meaningful conversations, mindfulness practices and a leadership project. The leadership project is an opportunity to look at your values and aspirations in the quest to have an enriched life that gives you meaning and fulfilment in your profession as a physician. The overall wellness course goal is to help you determine your path of wellness as well as the development and/or continuance of habits which sustain a high level of physical, mental and spiritual health and fitness.

Healer’s Art:

The Healers Art course is a defined curriculum created in 1991 by Dr. Rachel Remen (Professor, UCSF School of Medicine) which is currently being taught in 80-90 medical schools. The purpose of the course is to explore the human dimension of health care including learning self-care strategies and recognizing the value of service. Topics covered will include defining an individual’s purpose and commitment in medicine, tools to deal with grief and loss, recognizing awe and mystery in the practice of medicine, and open dialogue about mission and service. The course and its smaller group discussions offer an opportunity for open dialogue, depth of discussion and interaction with faculty that is unique and not available in other areas of the curriculum. More information about the course including research studies are available on the national website: http://www.rishiprograms.org/healers-arts


Given the complex and demanding environment of healthcare and life as a physician, effective leadership is often required to meet these challenges. This course is designed to provide you with tools to be who you need to be, to be a leader, and to exercise leadership effectively as you encounter each of these challenges.

In this leadership laboratory you will discover that leadership does not always mean a position, a title, time, money, influence, or any of the traits typically “required” to be a leader or produce the results of a leader. You will develop your ability to identify underlying assumptions and beliefs that limit your ability to lead and your effectiveness as a leader. In reflecting on your ways of being and acting, you will discover new levels of integrity and authenticity in your leadership including an awareness and a respect for beliefs and world views that differ from your own. All of this is critical as a leader and as a physician. The promise of this course is that, if you participate fully, you will gain invaluable understanding about the nature of being a leader for yourself and be able to exercise leadership effectively as your natural self-expression.


This is an opportunity to learn and practice several mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness has been found among other things to be a key element in reduction of pain, stress and anxiety and an increase in overall happiness. Studies have also found mindfulness practices contribute to a clinician’s effectiveness in care provided. Many physicians find they share about practices with their patients who also benefit from having a strategy to rest, relax and rejuvenate regularly. A mindfulness practice will make a difference for you now and in your future well-being as a physician.

The role of the humanities in medicine

(AAMC recommended)

In these classes students will learn about the potential power living life fully and enhancing well-being. They will gain experience and knowledge of therapies and approaches which can potentially help themselves, their colleagues, and their patients. In this part of the course students will learn how the arts can enhance insight, relationships, for self-care, compassion, and the exploration of being a physician. Using the lessons from the humanities such as writing and sharing their they will see their power to develop insights and develop wisdom.

Wellness Talks

This part of the elective will reflect topics of relevance in wellness and may include talks on nutrition, stress management and resiliency in residency. Topics in wellness have been chosen by as most relevant to their success in post –graduate education.