UNC SOM Wellness Initiative

Training to be a physician is a demanding journey, offering challenges, rewards, and surprises. While every student's experience is different, it is not uncommon to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and even depressed at times. The goal of the UNC SOM Wellness Initiative is to ensure medical school remains a positive experience for students, helping them find balance and manage stress.

Overview of UNC SOM Wellness Initiative

The UNC SOM Wellness Initiative was established in 2011 in response to growing concern nationally regarding medical student burnout, depression, substance and alcohol misuse and other issues related to maintaining a healthy balance in life as a medical student and into careers as physicians.  The program, co-run by the Larry Keith Advising Colleges Advisors and Student Advocates, emphasizes wellness from a perspective that promotes balance among academic success, identity as a medical student and a person, relationships, and healthy behaviors.

Components of Wellness Initiative

Individually-focused interventions

  • Advising Meetings:  Students meet with their Advisors at least once per semester, to discuss academics, strategies to promote wellness and balance, and resources for additional support if necessary.
  • Website:  Information about wellness-related topics are included, as well as resources.

Advising College Activities

  • Wellness Curriculum: The Advising Colleges Brown Bag Workshop series addresses specific issues related to wellness in medical school. Topics include maintaining an identity as a medical student, managing relationships, and career development.  This series also offers advice on study skills and approaches to academic and clinical development.
  • College-Sponsored Events: Advising colleges will sponsor events throughout the year for college members and the medical student community.  Some may include a healthy competition (for example an open-mic night or field day), while others are for non-competitive recreation. Colleges are also encouraged to host “Wellness Challenges” for the SOM community during the year, the content of which would be up to the College.

The College Cup

Advising Colleges will participate in a friendly competition for the UNC SOM College Cup.  Colleges can earn points throughout the year by hosting wellness events, attending College events, and winning friendly competitions.