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Center for Health Sciences
Behavioral Sciences
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Stress Management Program

The Department of Behavioral Sciences is proud of its unique Stress Management Program. Since 1988, Susan Redwood, Ph.D., and Michael Pollak, Ph.D., have coordinated this Program annually to help first-year medical students at OSU-COM adjust to life as a medical student. The program is unique in its longevity at a medical school and in its use of second-year students to lead small groups of first-year students.

The small group meetings are the core of the Stress Management Program. The groups meet weekly for seven weeks at the beginning of the fall semester to:

  • help first-year students develop stress management skills
  • help first-year students get to know some of their fellow students
  • provide a confidential forum for new students to discuss their concerns
  • provide experienced students to serve as resources for new students

Student participation in the Stress Management Program is voluntary. The second-year students volunteer their time to serve as group leaders and the first-year students volunteer to participate as members of the groups. Important indicators of the success of the Program are that, year after year, almost 1/3 of the students in the second-year class volunteer their time to serve as Stress Management group leaders and more than 90% of the students in the first-year class participate voluntarily as members of the small groups.

Drs. Redwood and Pollak have published a paper* in an academic medicine journal describing the College’s Stress Management Program and have presented workshops at national meetings of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) to assist medical educators at other medical schools to develop their own stress management programs.

Drs. Redwood and Pollak are willing to consult and/or share written materials with faculty at other schools interested in organizing similar programs for their own medical students. Email Dr. Redwood.

*Redwood SK and Pollak MH, Student-Led Stress Management Program for First-Year Medical Students, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 2007, 19(1), 42-46.