Newswise — WASHINGTON (July 10, 2014) — The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish), in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation, is pleased to announce the GWish-Templeton Reflection Rounds (G-TRR) award winners. The G-TRR award will aid medical schools in incorporating spirituality, broadly defined as meaning, purpose and connectedness, into traditional medical school rounds. These rounds will help address students’ personal and professional formation by exploring spirituality in the context of self and patient care.

The following 10 medical schools were awarded $25,000 each to implement G-TRR into their third and fourth-year clerkships:

- University of Arkansas- University of Alberta- Stanford University- University of Texas Southwestern- Dartmouth University- Stony Brook School of Medicine- Oregon Health and Science University- Thomas Jefferson University- George Washington University- Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson

The G-TRR rounds will be held once a week, for four weeks. Each two-hour round will include specific learning objectives based on the National Competencies in Spirituality and Health, which are used to address five areas of concern with regard to medical students: burnout, depression, spiritual well-being, empathy and patient centeredness. These reflection rounds will be led by GWish-trained facilitators which include trained chaplain and physicians as co mentors. The goal of mentorship is to provide a safe environment for students to reflect and share their patient experiences.

The G-TRR project builds on a 15-year partnership between GWish and the John Templeton Foundation to place greater importance on spirituality broadly defined, in the formation of medical students into physicians. By reinvigorating the call to serve and the spiritual awareness of hundreds of these students, G-TRR seeks to increase students’ understanding of patients’ full illness experience, ability to attend to patients’ suffering, and openness to the transformative potential of the physician-patient encounter. Through reflecting on their encounters with patients and learning from these encounters, medical students are not only benefiting their patients, but themselves. The formation of both the mind and heart of future physicians is critical, considering the many psychosocial and spiritual problems physicians face when dealing with the stress of caregiving, such as suicide, depression, substance abuse, existential distress and marital problems. Through finding what gives them meaning in the clinical encounter, medical students will formed into more capable physicians.

“These schools were selected by leading experts in medicine and spirituality and will be conducted in a wide variety of clerkships,” said Christina Puchalski, M.D. ’94, founder and director of GWish, who leads the G-TRR project along with Benjamin Blatt, M.D., professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “We look forward to a productive and inspiring year ahead, with this new set of highly qualified teams and programs.”

Media: For more information about G-TRR, please contact Lisa Anderson at [email protected] or 202-994-3121.


About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.