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Mental Health Awareness in Osteopathic Medical Education

Osteopathic Medical Student Task Force
Checks Its Peers’ Mental Health Vital Signs

Groundbreaking survey explores mental health wellness among future DOs. Read release


W

e applaud the Mental Health Awareness Task Force (MHATF) survey, a project of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), the largest survey of its kind ever conducted.

For the first time, a study is focusing specifically on the mental wellness of DO students. The results were presented at AACOM's 2016 Annual Conference, where thought leaders from across the osteopathic medical education (OME) spectrum were brought together to discuss topics, including mental health among medical students.

With more than 10,000 responses collected from students at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) nationwide, the survey is a groundbreaking step toward addressing mental wellness among future DOs.

AACOM remains committed to listening to the students, who led this milestone effort, and we encourage active student involvement to improve the public health of future physicians. We've seen first-hand how mental health issues powerfully impact medical students and the patients they serve.

We look forward to collaborating with others in the OME community to reduce the stigma associated with mental health challenges, support future research every step of the way, provide data that COMs can use to help students, and develop resources at the campus level that empower the DO student body.

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President and CEO, AACOM

AACOM in Action

Read AACOM's position statement on mental health in medical education.

AACOM Launches Groundbreaking Study on Medical Student Empathy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 1, 2017

Contact:
Paul DeMiglio
Senior Media Specialist
(202) 306-9777 
pdemiglio@aacom.org
 

(Bethesda, MD) – The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), in collaboration with the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Leonard Calabrese, DO, a professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, is sponsoring a groundbreaking nationwide project to study medical student empathy and its relationship to osteopathic medical education (OME). The study, titled the Project in Osteopathic Medical Education and Empathy (POME2), is the first of its kind to measure and examine reported empathy levels of students from 41 different osteopathic medical colleges, branch campuses, and teaching sites. This pool of research participants represents roughly 85 percent of all DO students in the United States.

“The opportunity to partner with Dr. Len Calabrese and the strong research team at Thomas Jefferson University, and receive the support from the AOA, has led to this unprecedented initiative which offers valuable opportunities to take steps toward improving the way medical educators address empathy in relation to preparing physicians of the future,” said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM. “This phase of the project is expected to yield outcomes that will aid us in evaluating empathy as a key characteristic of osteopathic medical education and practice.”

The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE), an internationally-known and validated instrument for measuring empathy in the context of health professions education and patient care, will be used in this project. The current stage of the project is a cross-sectional two-year study of empathy norms in medical students from all four years of undergraduate medical education. Participating osteopathic medical schools will use the JSE tool to assess empathy levels in their students across all four years, creating a baseline level of empathy for each (participating 2017 incoming students will have an opportunity to take the survey again after their first year).

“This study will be the first in medical education to establish national norms for an important personal quality, empathy, that is the backbone of the patient-doctor relationship,” said Mohammadreza Hojat, PhD, principal investigator on the study, research professor in the Thomas Jefferson University Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and director of the Jefferson Longitudinal Study at the Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care. “My team’s previous research showed that empathy can predict clinical competence in medical students and clinical outcomes in diabetic patients.”

This is the first nationwide project on empathy in medical education ever undertaken. Outcomes of this study will be used to assess standards in osteopathic medical education curriculum to positively impact student empathy retention, and may have the potential to influence medical education across the health professions.

The POME2 project is made possible with sponsorship from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and through support and collaboration with Dr. Calabrese who holds the Theodore F Classen DO Chair of Osteopathic Research and Education at the Cleveland Clinic.

For more information on the POME2, visit aacom.org/empathy.

About AACOM

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 33 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 48 teaching locations in 31 states. In the currentacademic year these colleges are educating over 27,000 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 27 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOMprovides leadership for the osteopathic medical education community by promoting excellence in medical education, research and service, and by fostering innovation and quality across the continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the American public.

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oms day of wellness-infographic

AACOM Launches Groundbreaking Study on Medical Student Empathy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 1, 2017

Contact:
Paul DeMiglio
Senior Media Specialist
(202) 306-9777 
pdemiglio@aacom.org
 

(Bethesda, MD) – The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), in collaboration with the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Leonard Calabrese, DO, a professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, is sponsoring a groundbreaking nationwide project to study medical student empathy and its relationship to osteopathic medical education (OME). The study, titled the Project in Osteopathic Medical Education and Empathy (POME2), is the first of its kind to measure and examine reported empathy levels of students from 41 different osteopathic medical colleges, branch campuses, and teaching sites. This pool of research participants represents roughly 85 percent of all DO students in the United States.

“The opportunity to partner with Dr. Len Calabrese and the strong research team at Thomas Jefferson University, and receive the support from the AOA, has led to this unprecedented initiative which offers valuable opportunities to take steps toward improving the way medical educators address empathy in relation to preparing physicians of the future,” said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM. “This phase of the project is expected to yield outcomes that will aid us in evaluating empathy as a key characteristic of osteopathic medical education and practice.”

The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE), an internationally-known and validated instrument for measuring empathy in the context of health professions education and patient care, will be used in this project. The current stage of the project is a cross-sectional two-year study of empathy norms in medical students from all four years of undergraduate medical education. Participating osteopathic medical schools will use the JSE tool to assess empathy levels in their students across all four years, creating a baseline level of empathy for each (participating 2017 incoming students will have an opportunity to take the survey again after their first year).

“This study will be the first in medical education to establish national norms for an important personal quality, empathy, that is the backbone of the patient-doctor relationship,” said Mohammadreza Hojat, PhD, principal investigator on the study, research professor in the Thomas Jefferson University Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and director of the Jefferson Longitudinal Study at the Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care. “My team’s previous research showed that empathy can predict clinical competence in medical students and clinical outcomes in diabetic patients.”

This is the first nationwide project on empathy in medical education ever undertaken. Outcomes of this study will be used to assess standards in osteopathic medical education curriculum to positively impact student empathy retention, and may have the potential to influence medical education across the health professions.

The POME2 project is made possible with sponsorship from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and through support and collaboration with Dr. Calabrese who holds the Theodore F Classen DO Chair of Osteopathic Research and Education at the Cleveland Clinic.

For more information on the POME2, visit aacom.org/empathy.

About AACOM

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 33 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 48 teaching locations in 31 states. In the currentacademic year these colleges are educating over 27,000 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 27 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOMprovides leadership for the osteopathic medical education community by promoting excellence in medical education, research and service, and by fostering innovation and quality across the continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the American public.

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Resilience

Inner-Strength-thumb

Inner Strength: Osteopathic Medical Students Reflect on Resiliency

A collection of essays by DO students detailing moments of struggle along the journey to becoming a physician. This new book was written by the 2016 Student DO of the Year awardees from each of the nation’s COMs.



Nearly half of all physicians are burned out and almost 50% of medical students surveyed report experiencing burnout.


Academic Med graph mental health

 


Each year in the United States, an estimated 400 physicians take their own lives, a rate that is higher than most other professions.


Suicide Prevention Awareness


Nation's COMs Take Initiative

Questions?

COSGP Mental Health Awareness Task Force Coordinator:
Calli Schardein
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
COSGPMentalHealth@gmail.com