Bulletin of Dental Education

Tufts University SDM Hosts Virtual Wellness Sessions to Ease Pandemic Anxiety

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Since 2015, Christina Pastan, D.M.D., Director of Mind-Body Wellness at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM), has led a popular weekly meditation session for students, faculty and staff. In March 2020, as the pandemic halted in-person education and clinical operations for routine care, Dr. Pastan moved the sessions online and hosted them from her home.

When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts defined students in their clinical years as essential health workers—an important designation that allowed students to work in the dental clinics under faculty supervision, an educational component needed for the school’s accreditation—TUSDM saw the importance of bringing in-person mind-body wellness back into the building with them.

Decoupling provider stress from patient care is a great unaddressed need of health care professionals in general. The pandemic heightened that anxiety. TUSDM launched an initiative to help students practice stress reduction exercises prior to seeing patients. Through group standing meditations lasting 60–90 seconds at the start of the day, students and others can clear their heads before seeing patients.

This short video helps convey the experience of the participants at TUSDM.

Read more about the Mind-Body Wellness program at Tufts or about how the emergency clinic at Tufts sprang into action to treat patients in need during the pandemic.

Article amended from material from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Published on February 10, 2021

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