Dr. Pipas' course pushed me to search for and prioritize personal wellness even when it felt I had no time to give. Prior to this course, I mostly practiced wellness through physical activity, which was also the first I neglected when feeling too busy. Through class discussions and working through her book, I've learned so many other techniques such as mindfulness, appreciative inquiry, cognitive reframing, and cultivating a healthy environment, that can be done no matter my schedule. Perhaps the biggest takeaway of all was the lesson that I can make time for my wellness, and that time put in to fill my tank makes me much happier, and more productive, day to day. As a medical student reading Dr. Pipas' chapters about patients and other medical professionals, there was so much I could relate to, and a strong case for establishing a healthier mindset now to bolster against burnout. The associated exercises and welcoming class discussions pushed me to not just read and agree, but intentionally try each technique and reflect on how it provided benefit or new insight about myself. This class would be helpful for anyone at any stage of their medical training, to start finding their personal balance. Taking this course during the uncertainty of COVID-19 gave me tools to feel more grounded and find peace in the chaos, skills that I know I will continue to draw upon and refer back to for the rest of my life.
—Christina Tsai, MD Candidate 2021, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
I signed up for this wellness course with Dr. Pipas as I was struck by how little I had consciously thought about my own wellness over the past few years of medical school. When we become busy and stressed, things that lead to wellness, such as physical activity, sleep, or relationships, are easily affected. This class helped me to refocus on and prioritize my wellness in a few ways. First, taking the time to read “A Doctor’s Dozen”, gave me a chance to put medicine and research aside every day. It was the first book I had read for my own interest in a long time. The readings were thought-provoking and I related to each story in some way. Second, the classes were a chance to reflect further on the readings and hear from the perspective of other students. I loved the mindfulness moment that was incorporated into every class and the way it helped me to calm my mind and focus on the topic of discussion. Overall, I am proud of myself for making this class a priority for a month and contemplating how to incorporate parts of each wellness strategy in my own life. I am excited to prioritize my own wellness and pursue interests that give me a sense of happiness and purpose.
—Kayla Hatchell, MD Candidate 2021, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine,
Research Assistant, Community & Family Medicine Department, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Dr. Pipas' course gave me many tools to help improve my wellness through mindfulness, self-reflection, narrative writing, physical exercise etc. and afforded me the time to explore them and share my experiences. I have always wanted to incorporate more "mindfulness" into my daily life but was unsure how to do it in any meaningful way prior to this class. I now have the understanding and motivation to incorporate these tools into my routines. It was particularly helpful to bounce ideas, strengths and struggles off of other members in the class and Dr. Pipas. This class would be valuable for anyone in the medical profession who is concerned about physician well-being, who wants to optimize their happiness and find balance in their professional and personal life. It was particularly helpful to have this framework during such uncertain and unsettling times. I plan to take lessons that I learned from this course into residency and beyond. Dr. Pipas uses patients from her practice in her book to demonstrate the different wellness tools. She also has helpful exercises at the end of each chapter to guide readers in how to use the tools. I plan on referencing the book when I want a refresher on the various wellness tools.
—Carrie Bryant, MD Candidate 2020, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine