An Innovative Approach for Integrating Mandatory, Longitudinal Spirituality Training into the Medical School Curriculum

David W. Fleenor, Holly G. Atkinson, Reena Karani, Susan Lerner, Staci Leisman, Deborah Marin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Problem launching the initiative and expanding factors—establishing an interprofessional Most Americans indicate they are the team by engaging interprofessional team, working through an iterative religious and/or spiritual and wish to faculty and staff from across the process, and integrating the curriculum have their beliefs taken into account institution. The team used an iterative into existing courses—were critical to when engaging with health care process to integrate 4 distinct modules designing and implementing the modules. providers, yet gaps in medical education into 4 existing courses, spanning the 4 and health care practice remain. To years of medical school. underscore the importance of spirituality Next Steps as a significant social determinant of The team aims to expand and improve Outcomes health, a team at the Icahn School of the curriculum by linking learning to The majority of students found that the Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York specific standardized competencies spirituality and health curriculum was developed mandatory spirituality and as well as developing more specific valuable to training and professional health training for students integrated performance assessments to demonstrate development. They appreciated the into all 4 years of the undergraduate achievement of competencies. importance of patients’ spiritual needs, medical education curriculum. Professional development efforts will valued learning about the role chaplains be enhanced so faculty can better play in patient care and how to initiate a model and reinforce the integration of Approach consult, and indicated they intended to spirituality into health care practices and From 2014 to 2020, a small group of integrate spiritual history taking in their expand the curriculum on spirituality and faculty took an innovative approach, patient care. With respect to process, 3 key health into graduate medical education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022


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