Fostering Student and Faculty Well-being at Academic Health Centers

Diann Eley (Speaker), Aviad Haramati (Speaker), Bishop, J. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Additional information

Concerns regarding the mental health of students is an urgent and pressing issue in medical education. However, of equal or even greater concern is the well-being of medical school faculty, with over 43% reporting being under stress and an additional 30% experiencing symptoms of burnout. (AAMC 2018) Although concerns about rising burnout and depression are often portrayed as a recent epidemic; in reality, the medical fraternity has grappled with these issues for over eight decades.Considerations of factors that impact on student well-being have led to a number of effective interventions that promote well-being. These range from changes to the curriculum, introduction of pass-fail grading and courses to foster mind-body awareness and self-care. While these initiatives have merit, and have heightened our attention to the problem, they only address part of contributing factors. What is missing are strategies to address the culture of the learning environment—that is, the well-being of faculty who effectively create the environment in which our students and trainees learn and work.The purpose of the focus session is to address the learning environment by engaging participants in thoughtful discussions of the factors that contribute to a healthy, supportive and nurturing learning environment and share descriptions of successful interventions that foster both student and faculty well-being.The focus of our session is on the overall environment that drives student and faculty well-being. With the persistent increase in mental health problems, our objective is to engage the audience to consider aspects of medical education environment that can be improved. We will also consider whether the culture of medical education is likely to change given our current and continued attention to the symptoms rather than the cause. The notion that medicine maintains an environment that is resistant to change has only recently been challenged and primarily in the context of medical students. We wish to emphasise the pivotal role of the faculty in the medical education environment. A ‘vibrant’ faculty that feels valued and supported is likely to maintain the motivation and engagement that is critical in ensuring individual student success and likewise, institutional success. (Shah, 2018)The session has two parts: three presentations and audience engagement (45 min each).Setting the stage: Di Eley (University of Queensland, Australia) will give a brief synthesis of the problem with a focus on faculty and its crucial role in establishing and maintaining a healthy learning environment. Faculty well-being and the learning environment: Adi Haramati (Georgetown University, USA) will review data regarding the lack of faculty well-being, but also describe interventions that have engaged faculty and led to an improved environment for learning. Peering into peer support: Jo Bishop (Bond University, Australia) will provide an overview of how student societies, through peer support and faculty partnerships are busting the myth of ‘them and us’ to develop organisations that are safe environments. Audience engagement: Questions related to faculty and students will be posed for generation of ideas in separate small groups, followed by discussion with the entire audience.This session discusses topical issues around fostering student and faculty well-being that concern most medical schools and academic health centres worldwide. It is likely that different factors and cultures contribute to faculty and student stress across the globe. However, there may be some common aspects that could be addressed uniformly. Our session will invite the audience to explore possible solutions and interventions using their differing perceptions of these familiar concerns. The discussions and perspectives this session will elicit are expected to be diverse, thought provoking, and transferable to other institutions. Our intent is to promote sufficient dialogue around this focus topic to develop a wider appreciation for the issues that will continue across institutions, cultures and countries. This sharing of issues, ideas and strategies may present solutions toward change and provide a platform of ongoing support as well as lead to new and productive collaborations.
Period28 Feb 2020
Event titleInternational Association for Medical Science Educators Symposium : Integration in Medical and Health Science Education
Event typeConference
LocationKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Degree of RecognitionInternational