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The first Transcendental Meditation elective course offered at a major US medical school
by Carla Brown, EdD, Gregory Gruener, MD, Maura Tresch, MD
Chicago Medicine Translate This Article
30 January 2016
The January 2016 issue of Chicago Medicine (Vol 119, issue 1), a publication of the Chicago Medical Society and the Medical Society of Cook County, features two related articles on the Transcendental Meditation technique and medical education.
Click here to read both articles: ''Physician, Heal Thyself'' (page 22), followed by ''The Supporting Science'' (page 26).
The first article, ''Physician, Heal Thyself: Stritch School of Medicine students give new meaning to the adage,'' was written by Carla L. Brown, EdD, and Gregory Gruener, MD, MBA. The article begins, ''Students at the Stritch School of Medicine learn about the science and methodology behind the Transcendental Meditation technique in the first TM elective course offered at a major medical school in the United States.'' The course, ''Physician Wellness through Transcendental Meditation'', is offered at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago.
Dr. Brown is an adjunct professor at the Stritch School of Medicine, and director of the Center for Leadership Performance, Chicago. Dr. Gruener is vice dean for education, and the Ralph P. Leischner, Jr., MD, Professor of Medical Education, and professor and associate chair of the department of neurology at Stritch.
Linda Brubaker, MD, dean of the Stritch School of Medicine, and Dr. Gruener together led Stritch in proactively addressing the stress medical students incur with the introduction of the evidence-based TM technique and the elective course. In the article, the authors conclude:
Implications for Patients and Physicians
''Our experience with beginning years of MDED-400 [the TM elective course] is that students can easily take control of their own wellness by gaining deep rest and improving brain functioning with twice daily TM practice. Attending physicians and students report that TM has added balance to their lives.
''Having TM as a tool means our students can recommend something that they know will help, based upon their own experience and upon substantial evidence. They can avoid burnout and maintain their enthusiasm for practicing medicine. They can also become the role models we all aspire to be. Our students have demonstrated that we can join them in restoring our own balance, enthusiasm, and mastery.
''The medical profession is in desperate need of support. We're told, 'Physician, heal thyself.' But how? Stritch students have demonstrated that TM might just be the prescription to help answer this charge, by making our profession a more rewarding experience while also offering something of great value for our patients.''
The second article, ''The Supporting Science: Multiple studies show the Transcendental Meditation technique can reduce stress, anxiety and cardiovascular disease risk,'' was written by Maura Tresch, MD, a graduate of Stritch School of Medicine who participated in the TM elective as a student. Dr Tresch is now a global health scholar and family medicine resident at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida. She ends her article with this valuable advice:
Take Care of Yourself
''By recommending TM we can inoculate our patients against stress and its associated effects. With TM we do not 'manage' stress—we get rid of it. With the stress gone, the health of the body and mind can improve. This is the essence of preventive medicine.
''I have been told that 'you cannot help others before you help yourself.' When we take an airplane flight, the stewardess tells us that in the event of an emergency, we are to put on our own oxygen mask before we help someone else. To properly care for my patients, I must first care for myself so that I can give them my best possible attentive mind.''
Click here for a list of references for Dr. Tresch's article.
Copyright © 2016 Chicago Medicine
Source: Adapted from The Uncarved Blog, courtesy of Ken Chawkin.
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