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Resources for Creating an Optimal Learning Environment

Medical education practitioners and researchers are continuously developing new resources for those interested in creating the optimal learning environment. This section highlights related materials developed by constituents at the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals, as well as by AAMC staff.

The first selection of resources focuses on wellness. Additional articles and resources on a variety of topics—including professionalism, cultural competence, ethics, and the overall learning environment—will be added to this hub in the coming months.

Please send suggestions for new content to be considered for this information hub to

Check back to see new featured topics and browse our growing list.

Current Featured Topic: Wellness

The following collection, also available to download , was gathered from MedEdPORTAL Publications and Academic Medicine.

Many medical schools and teaching hospitals have integrated active wellness programs into their curricula and communities. These programs are designed to enhance the learner experience and improve the life of the student, their cohorts, and, ultimately, patients.

Medical Student Mental Health 3.0: Improving Student Wellness Through Curricular Changes
In this article, the authors present a new paradigm for improving medical student mental health, by describing an integrated, multifaceted, preclinical curricular change program implemented through the Office of Curricular Affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine starting in the 2009–2010 academic year...

A Comprehensive Medical Student Wellness Program—Design and Implementation at Vanderbilt School of Medicine
Research suggests that student burnout and mental illness are increasing in U.S. medical schools. In response, students and administrators developed the Vanderbilt Medical Student (VMS) Wellness Program to promote student health and well-being through coordination of many new and existing resources. This program consists of three core components: The Advisory College Program, The Student Wellness Committee, and VMS LIVE...

Teamwork & Conflict Management Workshop
This workshop addresses the topics of teamwork and conflict management between physicians and nurses, with emphasis on the potential gender implications. The goals of the workshop are to provide a unique session for female physicians, residents, and medical students focusing on female physician-nurse interactions, teamwork building, and conflict management skills. The workshop is designed to provide a wellness activity and is structured for facilitated mentoring in a group environment...

Vanderbilt Wellness Program: Model and Implementation Guide
The authors hope that institutions are able to make use of this guide as they initiate or expand medical student wellness programming at their institutions. The contents not only illustrate the Vanderbilt model for wellness programming, but offer a step-by-step approach for evaluating the needs of an institution and walk through the process of implementing the key components of a wellness initiative tailored to an institution’s needs.

The Medical Student Wellbeing Workshop
The goal of this workshop is to help medical students in handling their stresses. Relevant theoretical input related to stress, stressors and coping strategies in the medical context will be discussed thus participants will be able to reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses...

Women in Medicine Wellness Workshop: Work-Life Integration
This resource provides the framework and materials needed to implement a wellness workshop for women in medicine. The purpose is to provide a unique session for faculty, residents, and students focusing on the topics of personal wellness (via a yoga session), career goal setting and work-life integration. The structure of the workshop is designed to facilitate networking and mentoring in a relaxed setting utilizing a mosaic of peer mentoring, vertical mentoring, and small group break-out sessions with one senior mentor with multiple junior mentees...

Measuring Medical Residents’ Well-Being
The purpose of this submission is to share the Resident Well-Being Scale (RWB) for critical review. The submission includes an investigation of the descriptive statistics, factors and the internal reliability of residents’ responses to the RWB scale. This submission also includes an investigation of the construct validity of the RWB by exploring potential relationships between residents’ well-being and two theoretically related constructs: the quantity of sleep and rotation demands...

Learn Serve Lead 2014 Sessions Supporting the Optimal Learning Environment

Several sessions focused on the learning environment will be held at Learn Serve Lead 2014.

MedEdPORTAL External Link

MedEdPORTAL®, the free destination for peer-reviewed educational scholarship, innovations to improve patient care, and continuing education activities to support lifelong learning.


Ann Steinecke, Ph.D.
Sr. Dir., Academic Affairs
Programs & Engagement
Telephone: 202-828-0475