Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education

Kern Institute REACH Curriculum

About the REACH Curriculum

Objectives for the REACH Curriculum

To describe how medical student, trainee, and physician well-being is integral to becoming a caring and competent physician.

To identify the characteristics and practice the skills that will help you thrive in medical school and beyond.

REACHCurriculum_Intro Component

About the Program

Led by Cassie Ferguson, MD, Joanne Bernstein, MD and Theresa Maatman, MD

First Year, 2nd semester

  • 4 core didactic sessions
  • 4 facilitated small-group sessions

Second Year, 1st semester

  • 3 core didactic sessions
  • 3 facilitated small-group sessions

The core didactic sessions will be taught by Dr. Ferguson and other clinical faculty members. The small group sessions will be facilitated by a clinical faculty member and a behavioral health expert and are made up of 10-11 students. These groups will remain consistent throughout the entire curriculum. Attendance at all core didactic sessions and small group sessions is mandatory. Grading for this portion of the clinical apprenticeship course is entirely dependent on attendance and is pass/fail.

Core Didactics (First Year)

Core Didactic #1
February 13, 2019, 11:00 am: Introduction to REACH; the “how-to” of mental health at MCW; normalizing mental health help seeking.

Core Didactic #2
March 1, 2019, 8:00 am: Mindfulness; meditation; spirituality; self-compassion.

Core Didactic #3
April 5, 2019, 9:00 am: Imposter syndrome; belonging vs fitting in; stress; anxiety.

Core Didactic #4
May 1, 2019, 1:00 pm (during BENCH TO BEDSIDE course): Empathy vs. compassion; setting boundaries; gratitude.

Core Didactic Topics (Second Year)
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Sympathetic joy
  • Activities: active constructive responding, compassionate listening
Small Group Sessions

Two-hour sessions

The first 75 minutes will be an opportunity for students to talk about experiences they’ve had in medical school, in their clinical apprenticeship, or in their life outside of school in a safe, supportive, and consistent environment. An effort will be made on the part of the facilitators to connect concepts and skills taught in the preceding REACH didactic session with issues brought up in the small group. Facilitators will also share their own experiences with the group.

The next 45 minutes will be dedicated to student presentations of a patient seen during their clinical apprenticeships.