(and click "Always show content from this sender," at the top of this email to see some great photographs featured in this newsletter!)

W e l l (n e s s)

PhotoFushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto Japan- Sheena Patel MS2


Dear classmates,

These winter months may seem long (and cold, and dark) and endless, but spring is just 5 short weeks away! We invite you to lean into these last few weeks and appreciate the subtleties that make winter so unique. A season that lends itself to reflection, connection, stillness, and hopefully, good soul food.

We're excited to feature 3 students in our Wellness Profiles - check out Dhruv, Rebecca, and Muhammad, below! 

Also, a big thank you to those who contributed to the Wellness survey. Survey summary is at the bottom of the newsletter. We plan to focus our newsletters around the  highest ranked Wellness curriculum objectives.

Finally, keep an eye out for our pilot nutrition cooking class with our very own Dr. D’Adamo. He'll lead an interactive workshop to learn and practice the foundations of food as medicine. We're super excited about it, and will update you with details soon!

Thanks for reading. 


Picture: Coron, Philippines, Kelsey Kneisly MS2

Wellness in Action:

 Technology makes it possible to order a new bike pump and have it delivered by the end of the day, quickly and remotely cross-check medication options for a patient, and FaceTime with friends across the globe.

But is it at the expense of connecting with the person right in front of us? Technology is a double-edged sword: both facilitating connection, while paradoxically, contributing to the loneliest generation of people to date. Too often, it distracts us from our “real” lives" -- the ones we live off the screen.
Unplug challenge:
At what points in your day do you pick up your phone to scroll through emails, Instagram, FB,  Snapchat without a clear aim? Is it right when you wake up, waiting for the bus, or procrastinating starting to study? 

For the next 3 days, notice these moments, when you pick up your phone. Before opening up your email or IG or whatever else,  send a quick text to someone and connect. Use this time to *create* something, rather than consume.

Hit two birds with one stone and consider writing a handwritten note to that friend you haven’t caught up with in a while. Now you’re unplugging AND connecting with important people in your life in a meaningful way. Or, write in a journal, break out a coloring book, or try a new baking recipe.
Have more ideas for how to improve wellness? Send them to us! We’d love to hear from you!


Meditation is great and all, but....
what does science have to say about it?
  The Science Vs podcast by Gimlet media provides an entertaining analysis of meditation through a scientific lens. 

As future physicians we must carry this evidence-based thinking with us, so we can be confident in recommending practices like yoga and meditation for our patients who stand to benefit from them.      

Click below to listen!     
Click *here* for this month's podcast

classmate well(ness) 
Wellness and self-care are as varied and personal as each of us. There's no one way to do it. Here, we highlight a classmate and the tools they use to stay balanced. 

Dhruv Adawal, class of 2020:

CIMIG: Thanks for taking some time to talk about wellness! Since our newsletter is about how to manage stress and stay healthy during medical school, could you share some of the things that have helped you in these areas?

Dhruv: Of course! For me, it comes down to small things that I do on a daily basis. One thing that helps me the most is my morning routine. I do all the normal stuff - brushing teeth, showering, etc. - but then I always like to have a 10 minute dance session to start my day. It’s super valuable to me because of the mental effect it has. If I was sleepy I feel less sleepy, if I was sick I feel less sick. It really just helps to get my day going in a positive way.

CIMIG: That is really interesting! What kind of music do you dance to?

Dhruv: Mostly electronic music with a lot of funky cues that you can react to. I dance to the same song for a while until I feel like I get to know it really well. When I feel like I have it down well enough, I record myself and send it to friends so I can get their opinion on my technique.

CIMIG: That sounds like a fun, much needed non-medical school related endeavor. Is there anything else that brings you positivity?

Dhruv: I’m part of a group chat with friends that I’ve had since high school. We talk about random stuff and it keeps me updated on current events. And honestly, I’m pretty grateful for how nice everyone that I have met in our class is. I really think that is a true strength of our class. I really have enjoyed making friends and the interactions that I have with classmates on a daily basis mean a lot to me.

Rebecca Fenderson: Class of 2021: 

To me, self-care comes in a lot of small ways. I make it a point to stop studying while I'm eating dinner to watch a TV show, and I indulge in a glass of my favorite wine on Friday nights! I also find refuge in music, so I play my piano when I get overwhelmed (and my showers also serve as my personal singing sessions).

I also try to limit my stress as much as I can by being proactive about things that I know affect my happiness if they aren't well-managed. I have had issues with body image and eating since I was in my teenage years, and so making sure I take time to go to the gym 3-4 times a week and meal-prepping limits my anxiety which contributes to my overall self-care and well-being!

But most of all, self-care comes from my relationships with others and finding serenity in the fact that I'm here. I call my parents and my friends every other evening or leave them voice messages to let them know I am always thinking of them. I take a 2-minute break while I'm in the library and look out at the skyline from the window to remind myself of how beautiful this city is. And I've formed a habit of saying a quick prayer to myself whenever I walk home and pass the front of Davidge Hall.

Self-care is made up of many things: self-reassurance, self-evaluation, self-appreciation, self-awareness. Taking care of the world inside of you better enables you to take care of the world surrounding you!


Muhammad Hamza, class of 2021

For me, wellness is taking a break from the inundation of information around us. Whether it is going to lecture, checking my phone (especially right before bed!), or listening to music I realized that I was constantly giving myself information overload. I felt that this put me on “auto-mode” and prevented me from thinking deeply about myself and my surroundings. To change this, I try to take a half hour a day where I try to avoid actively busying myself and relax while I introspect. Sometimes this is after class, before I start studying in the library and sometimes it is right before I go to bed.

I have also found that the “One Minute Rule” has really helped me destress by decreasing my constant mental to-do-list. If I know I need to do something, and doing it will take me about one minute, I will try to do it rather than continuously think/stress about it. You can try a variation of this rule (2 minutes, or 3 minutes), which will really help declutter your mind and allow you to focus on more important things with your full attention.

Overall, it is important to remember to take care of yourself! Set some time in your week to see your friends and family and really appreciate the interactions you have with them. Remember to eat healthily, sleep enough and take time to appreciate the little things that we often take for granted. And just remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!


Thanks for submitting your opinions to the Wellness Survey! See a summary of the results below.
Wellness Survey -- SUMMARY RESULTS

Upcoming wellness events at UMB:
April 11th
Joint talk with APAMSA on
Medical Acupuncture

April 12th
Center for Integrative Medicine Journal Club:  Exploring the relationship between
Natural Products and Opioids for Pain Management

May 17th
Center for Integrative Medicine Journal Club:
Cannabis Therapeutics in Holistic Health

Photo: Northern Rim of Grand Canyon- Kalpana Dave MS1

Have a beautiful photo? We want to feature it!

Email us with your favorite photo -- of the tree outside your house, a piece of graffiti that made you stop and pause, whatever it is -- we'd love to highlight it in our Photo of the Week! email to:

About us.  
The word 'well' is defined and used in many ways. As an adverb, it can refer to an action done "in a kind or friendly manner," "with skill or aptitude," "satisfactorily," "with careful or close attention," "in a way appropriate to the circumstances," and "as one could wish." As people, not to mention as students, we are constantly striving to do well, live well, perform well, balance well: simply, to be well. It is empowering to realize that doing something well can mean a range of outcomes. As an adjective, 'well' is defined as "being in satisfactory condition," or "being a cause for thankfulness." When we are well, it is cause for gratitude. This is juxtaposed perfectly by the medical definition of 'wellness,' a noun meaning "the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal." It feels both useful and beautiful to gather these meanings together as we approach our daily pursuits of doing well, being well, and improving our wellness. Well(ness) reminds us that with intention and care, we can be well in many ways while pursuing wellness, and that our efforts might bring us closer to a better, more satisfactory outcome - perhaps even an outcome of gratitude - emotionally, academically, or physically. 
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