Cooking, yoga classes at medical schools, hospitals relax doctors

“We talk about cardiovascular health, we talk about diabetes, we talk about inflammation. And in the final class, the students actually have a cooking competition,” she said. “This is something the new generation of medical students seem to really care about.”

Common Threads is also rolling out a curriculum for pediatric residents at Advocate Aurora Health children’s hospitals, Folkens said. But it’s not the only wellness-focused initiative health systems are offering to employees.

At Cleveland-based University Hospitals, employees can participate in free virtual classes or in-person activities such as meditation, massage events, music therapy or group drumming. UH also offers online yoga classes to all staff.

“Yoga is beneficial for healthcare professionals facing burnout because it encourages them to focus on two crucial aspects of well-being: movement and stress management,” said Dr. Francoise Adan, chief whole health and well-being officer at University Hospitals. “It helps them to reconnect with the breath in times of stress while also caring for their bodies. The tools of yoga are extremely valuable to have in one’s self-care toolbox.”

Adan noted that health system leadership must collaborate on and support well-being programs in order for them to be sustainable.

“The purpose of all of UH’s well-being offerings is to equip and empower our caregivers to take care of their whole health … so they can live full and meaningful lives according to what matters most to them,” she said.

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