In his role as the MCW Student Health and Wellness Coordinator, Koenraad De Roo focuses on helping students graduate with the ability to handle the stress and rigors of the job, and he takes this responsibility seriously.
“Physician suicide is very high overall, so MCW created the Student Wellness Program about 18 months ago to provide medical students with the tools and resources they need to learn to cope with the stress of the job,” Koenraad said. “I believe that it is important to leave a footprint in people’s lives, and I think I’m able to do that through this program. It helps future physicians improve their wellbeing. I am so proud to have been part of the program’s launch.”
Some of the events he coordinates include pet therapy sessions, yoga classes, and presentations on nutritional food prep. He collaborates closely with student mental health services, and he coordinates the medical student health insurance services. As the Student Health and Wellness Program continues to grow, additional services will be offered.
Koenraad has been at MCW almost four years. He started out as an administrative assistant to the associate dean of student affairs, but jumped at the opportunity to coordinate the wellness program when the program was launched. It is an approach he has used before with much success.
In the late 1990s, Koenraad, who is from Belgium, met a young lady from Wisconsin in an international chat room. After getting to know each other online for about a year, he came to Wisconsin to meet her in person, and they got married a few months later.
“Both of these decisions worked out extremely well,” Koenraad said with a smile.