College of Medicine students have often told faculty that they want a more engaged curriculum with flexibility. So, when the time came for the College to update its curriculum, a much-needed focus on student wellness was put in place, bolstered by the feedback of two students, Troy Kotsch, a rising third-year medicine student, and Alexandra (Lexi) Glaser, a rising second-year medicine student.
Kotsch and Glaser served on the committee that created a new “Wellness Day” model.
The new weekly schedule includes no more than 23 hours of instruction per week during many weeks – giving students time for personal wellness and class preparation. “Wellness Days” will also be added for first-year medicine students, giving students the time away from the classroom for any reason, including but not limited to the need to access health care, take care of self or a family member, present scholarly work or attend an event. Students are allotted one wellness day during the header/Maymester courses and four days each for the fall and spring semesters.
Wellness days cannot be used for clinical or case experiences and exams, but this new policy gives students the flexibility and peace of mind that they can address their personal needs without being penalized for missed class time.
“The well-being of the students is something we take very seriously. Any avoidable stresses that we can alleviate will help our students both personally and academically,” said Doug Moses, M.D. (’95), associate dean for admissions and student affairs in the College of Medicine.
“There will always be some stress, but we want them to enjoy their time in school and to create an environment where they thrive.”