Wellness Program

Well students, well doctors, well patients.

The Sanford School of Medicine Wellness Program provides students with the resources to recognize the need for and to foster self-care, allowing them to better provide compassionate patient care. The program is part of a curriculum designed to support personal growth and reflection over the four years of medical school.

Student-Directed Wellness Program

Wellness officers are elected for each class. They oversee their budget and how they want to use it to promote wellness for each of their respective classes. Examples of activities include:

  • Yoga and other fitness classes
  • Self-defense classes
  • Study-a-thons with snacks and massages

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Mentoring and Advising

Students also have a support system including basic science advisors, clinical mentors and advisors, and peer mentors from the class above. In addition, students have access to a learning specialist, supplemental instructions and one-on-one tutoring. As the Step 1 licensure exam is one of the greatest causes of stress, several sessions are devoted to Step 1 prep. Career advising is another component and starts in the first year of the students’ medical training and continues on until the students are matched.

Career Advising

Study Skills

Stress Management and Resilience Training

The Stress Management and Resilience Training program provides students with these skills to promote lifelong optimal health. This involves programs built into the curriculum, such as:

  • Daylong retreats that address the stress points of medical education, including the transition to medical school and Step 1 prep
  • Sessions on mindfulness meditation practice, addressing cognitive distortions and the impostor syndrome, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques to reduce anxiety and more

Student Support Services

Medical students deal with many concerns while pursuing their education. Things like academic concerns, anxiety and career questions are common issues. We provide student professional support services to help our students work through these types of concerns.

Students on all campuses are encouraged to explore personal counseling resources. Vermillion students may use the Student Counseling Center for free, while other campuses use private mental health professionals, some of which are on a sliding fee scale. Referrals are made for students who wish to continue these services at their clinical sites.

The mental health professionals are not involved in the student's academic evaluation. The records of any counseling or mental health services are protected and maintained separately from the student's academic file.

Current medical students can get more information about available services on the myUSD portal.