August 2, 2022

U.S. Surgeon General Advisory About Health Worker Burnout Recognizes RISHI at Pure Healthcare’s Healer’s Art™

In a recent advisory about health worker burnout, the U.S. Surgeon General mentioned RISHI at Pure Healthcare’s Healer’s Art™ course, citing it as an example of a program focused on supporting medical student wellness.   

The Healer’s Art is an innovative discovery model course in values clarification and professionalism for first- and second-year medical students. It is offered annually at more than 90 U.S. medical schools as well as medical schools around the world. Designed in 1991 by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, the course offers a safe learning environment for a personal in-depth exploration of the time-honored values of service, healing relationship, reverence for life, and compassionate care.

In “Addressing Health Worker Burnout: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Thriving Health Workforce,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service, called attention to health worker burnout.

“Addressing health worker burnout is about more than health,” Vivek said in the introduction of the advisory. “It’s about reflecting the deeper values that we aspire to as a society — values that guide us to look out for one another and to support those who are seeking to do the same.”

The advisory is a public statement that calls attention to an urgent public health issue. It provides recommendations to address the issue. In this advisory, Murthy mentions the Healer’s Art course in a section about prioritizing, assessing and supporting learner well-being. The section addressed medical student burnout and recommended that academic institutions, clinical training programs and accreditation bodies develop integrated programs focused on supporting student wellness. Healer's Art Course Recognized in US Surgeon General Advisory Report - RISHI at Pure Healthcare

On page 46, the advisory states, “Academic institutions can better prepare students and trainees for coping with morally and psychologically distressing situations, stress, sleep deprivation, and preventing burnout. One example is the ‘Healer’s Art’ course, started at the University of California San Francisco by Dr. Rachel Remen, which helps students stay connected to their core values and humanity and equips them with tools to manage moral injury and stress.

Now offered through RISHI at Pure Healthcare, the Healer’s Art course continues to utilize principles of adult education, contemplative studies, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, cognitive psychology, formation education, creative arts, and storytelling to present and explore human dimensions of medicine rarely discussed in medical training.

Faculty are often as profoundly affected by the course as the students, reporting a renewal of their enthusiasm for teaching and their love of medicine. Each summer, RISHI at Pure Healthcare offers an intensive faculty training to enable medical school faculty to bring the course to their school.

“We’re honored that RISHI at Pure Healthcare’s Healer’s Art course was mentioned by the U.S. Surgeon General in his advisory,” said Evangeline Andarsio, MD, director of RISHI at Pure Healthcare. “We’re committed to our mission to contribute to healing the culture of healthcare throughout innovative educational programs and the formation of supportive communities.”

RISHI at Pure Healthcare has provided education and support programs for health professionals who aspire to bring their hearts into their work and are dedicated to practicing a medicine of service, human connection, and compassionate healing. The mission of RISHI at Pure Healthcare is to contribute to healing the culture of healthcare throughout innovative educational programs and the formation of supportive communities. Its programs provide innovative tools, practices and resources to enable health professionals to sustain their service values, their humanity and their passion for their work.

Making each day matter.™ By taking a person-centered care approach and addressing more than a person’s symptoms, Pure Healthcare is working to make healthcare better. Pure Healthcare values the unique circumstance of each person it serves and develops an individual-based plan for areas they define as most meaningful to improve health and quality of life. Pure Healthcare collaborates and coordinates with primary and other healthcare professionals to provide seamless transitions across healthcare settings and ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of health care services.