The Humanistic Elective in Activism, Reflective Transformation, and Integrative Medicine (HEART-IM),
is a 4th year clerkship accredited by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health that will provide twenty-five (25) 4th
year medical students demonstrating an aptitude and interest in integrative medicine, social justice and
activism, intentional community building, humanism, and/or personal
growth a unique and wonderful way to conclude their medical school
career and prepare for residency.
Students will spend the month in a cooperative living and learning environment. The elective site is The Quaker
in Ben Lomond, CA. Students will create a community with awareness of
norms and rules, they will cook and clean with each other, teach and
learn from each other, and experience communal living while expanding
their knowledge on a number of important topics not addressed in
medical school. Didactic and experiential lectures will be scheduled
each day and led by physician leaders in their respective fields, in
addition to time for self-reflection and self-care. Lectures will focus
on the core curriculum of CAM, activism, community building, and
personal reflection. Any clinical site visits will focus on examples of
incorporating social justice and patient advocacy into clinical care.
Weekends will be free, with optional scheduled activities each weekend.
Rationale. Medical school, with its long hours and
extensive demands, can leave young physicians with a wealth of
knowledge, but an impoverished spirit. U.S. medical schools teach
techniques and technologies in great detail, but they, in large part,
ignore the human component of becoming a healer. Compassionate
interviewing skills, relationship-centered care, cultural competency,
and community and professional activism as physician leaders are
underemphasized in favor of clinical training and basic science
knowledge. Exit surveys of graduating medical students conducted by the
American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) consistently
demonstrate that students feel unprepared in many of these areas. Such
an imbalance in training has a noticeable impact on patient care,
patient satisfaction, malpractice claims, and compliance.
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) enjoys a fifty-year reputation as a partner in
coalitions based on the ideals of health as a basic human right,
support of diversity and elimination of disparities in health, medical
student well-being, and patient advocacy. This program is a
continuation of these efforts to empower physicians-in-training to
develop relationship-centered partnerships in health care, and impart
the care to communities.
Through the program, participants will:
- identify opportunities and cultivate skills of patient advocacy and community activism
- increase awareness to the ideals of medical practice as a service to humanity;
- create leadership skills that result in improved direct patient care during residency training and practice.
- broaden the understanding of suffering and healing to include
modalities and treatment approaches complementary to allopathic
- cultivate conflict resolution skills and improve communication skills;
- identify and heal personal conflicts to better improve their relationships with others;
- Increase awareness of tools for self-care