Mental Health

Although medical school is fun, exciting and rewarding, it also can be stressful. One of our highest priorities is supporting your mental health as you make your way through medical school. The school offers a range of events, resources and professional services, addressing everything from learning stress management skills to handling major life crises.

  • Student Health Services physicians and psychologists are available to help students cope with any mental health issue. For details of services and insurance coverage, please contact Student Health Services.
  • A Mental Health Panel Discussion is part of the first-year Practice of Medicine course every spring. Campus psychologists present information about support available through Student Health Services, and a panel of students and faculty discuss their first-hand experiences with mental and emotional health in a medical school setting. This has been a powerful and well-received session for first-year students.
  • The Anatomy Dialogue Session in first semester addresses students’ experiences of working with their “first patient.” The anatomy lab can be a source of anxiety and reflection for students who encounter human cadavers for the first time. Although human dissection can be psychologically stressful, most students ultimately report the course to be a uniquely fulfilling experience in which students learn empathy, coping skills and professionalism. This session allows students to discuss their questions, concerns and coping strategies and to gain insight from classmates and students from previous cohorts.
  • Compassionate Care Rounds are monthly sessions for third-year students. The role clinicians play in observing and supporting patients and families through difficult situations, including suffering and death, can take a toll emotionally. The ability to talk about such struggles in a supportive environment can help students deal with these emotions and develop coping skills that will benefit them throughout their careers. Clerkship directors have given permission for students to be absent from clinical duties during Compassionate Care Rounds. The sessions are student-led and confidential. No one who will be evaluating students is present, and nothing said in these settings impacts student evaluations.
  • Mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) sessions are prevalent on campus, with a Mindfulness Meditation group that practices once weekly, as well as a three-week MBSR Training targeted at M2s as they prepare for their Step 1 exam, led by a certified MBSR Instructor.
  • The WUSM Arts Commission is an umbrella group that promotes and fosters our students’ many spectacular artistic talents. The commission organizes quarterly coffeehouse events, in which students perform musical numbers, poetry readings and more. The commission also supports a student photography group, a film group, a yearly literary publication called Hippocrene Magazine, and an annual Art Show, featuring artistic submissions ranging all mediums from students, faculty and staff.