Moral of the Story: Combating Burnout and Apathy
Mounting research reveals that medical students across the nation are losing empathy and the ability to relate to our patients’ struggles.2 At the same time, burnout is evident not only among practicing physicians but also among trainees, starting with our time in school.3 Could a book club help buffer these undesired effects of our current medical education? Perhaps. Studies have demonstrated the protective influence of the humanities in medical curricula.4 With the demands of medical school and looming shelf examinations, it becomes increasingly challenging for students to carve out time for allegedly frivolous hobbies. Yet each month, a group of tired but enthusiastic medical students gather together to listen—but also to be heard.
This is the first year that students enrolled in the track will graduate having completed the curriculum from the beginning of medical school. And if the monthly classroom is a barometer, the track is succeeding in its ambitious goal of creating happier and more empathic individuals.