A Comprehensive Medical Student Wellness Program—Design and Implementation at Vanderbilt School of Medicine

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Abstract

Research suggests that student burnout and mental illness are increasing in U.S. medical schools. In response, students and administrators developed the Vanderbilt Medical Student (VMS) Wellness Program to promote student health and well-being through coordination of many new and existing resources. This program consists of three core components: The Advisory College Program, The Student Wellness Committee, and VMS LIVE. Each of the core components includes separate and unique individual programs, but each of these three components collaborates with the other two to accomplish the broad wellness goal of maximizing student health, happiness, and potential. The VMS Wellness Program has had early success with substantial growth and outstanding student buy-in since its inception in 2005. Preliminary data indicate that nearly every student has participated in at least two components of the VMS Wellness Program. In addition to participation, student response has been highly satisfactory, as evidenced by their positive feedback. The VMS Wellness Program is the first published model of a comprehensive medical student wellness initiative. The development and design of the program described in this article may serve as a framework for other institutions.

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