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December 2017 SEA-Q

Question:

Wellness has become a growing source of interest for educators, and its characteristics need to be known by those teaching "physicians in training." Which of the following statements regarding “wellness” is NOT TRUE?

  • The concept of wellness is strongly correlated to the concept of mindfulness.
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction is an 8-week nine-session course curriculum.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psycho-social intervention reserved for the treatment of certain mental disorders.
  • Burnout rate among US physicians is as high as 40%, and emergency medicine residents are the most affected by burnout.

Answer:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psycho-social intervention reserved for the treatment of certain mental disorders.

Discussion:

The definition of mindfulness, according to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, is as follows:
“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It’s about knowing what is on your mind.”

Dr. Kabat-Zinn adapted Buddhist teachings on mindfulness and developed the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). This is an 8-week program of 2.5-hour class weekly plus one full day session (between 6th and 7th sessions). It involves: 

  • Mindfulness meditation training and practice
  • Yoga and body awareness training
  • Patterns of thinking, feeling and action
  • Brief lectures and group discussions

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy in which negative thoughts about self and the environment are challenged to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders. The efficacy of both curricula (MBSR and CBT) has been studied in many thousands of patients in medical centers around the world, and both have been shown to be effective in relieving stress and reducing stress-related illness in diverse patient populations. CBT is NOT reserved ONLY for treatment of mental disorders.

Residents have a higher risk of developing burnout-related health issues. There are correlations between burnout and

  • poor mental health with increased suicide rate,
  • cardiovascular disease,
  • poor sleep hygiene, 
  • chronically elevated stress levels,
  • malnutrition

Reference(s):

  1. Grossman P, Niemann L, Schmidt S, Walach H (2004) Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. J Psychosom Res. 57: 35–43.
  2. Kabat-Zinn J. Full catastrophe living. Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Random House, Inc.; 1990.

Author Information:

Barbara Orlando, MD
Mount Sinai St. Luke's and West Hospitals Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center Mount Sinai Health System

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Clinical Base Year Director
OB Anesthesia Research Director
Mount Sinai Wellness Champion

The SEA is proud to be a member-driven organization, dedicated to the teaching and development of future anesthesiologists, and to the advancement of those who educate them.

Contact Info:

Society for Education in Anesthesia
6737 W. Washington St, Suite 4210 • Milwaukee, WI 53214 • (414) 389-8614