Jason Haxton, MA, director, Museum of Osteopathic Medicine, presented to ATSU-KCOM students and faculty Sept. 17 in recognition of Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day, a state-wide observance by osteopathic and allopathic medical schools. Haxton spoke about the history of compassion and mental health at ATSU beginning with Dr. Andrew Taylor Still’s thoughts and advocacy.
Missouri Senate Bill 52 was signed into law July 2017, establishing Aug. 28, 2017, as the first Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day. A committee of the state’s medical school leaders came together to designate the third Monday in September as a day to raise awareness of medical student well-being, with various awareness activities scheduled throughout the week.
“The medical schools of Missouri are dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental health issues and prioritizing lifelong mental health well-being for future physicians,” said Lori Haxton, MA, ATSU vice president for student affairs.
Participating Missouri medical schools included A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, medical students are three times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the general population in their age range. Medical schools across Missouri have developed dedicated resources to help medical students maintain a healthy work-life balance and self-care. Though resources among the schools may vary, they include assistance such as counseling and psychological services, academic support and tutoring, student fitness and other wellness groups.
ATSU-KCOM’s 125th anniversary community projects were focused on mental health awareness for ATSU students and employees, community members, and healthcare professionals and included mental health first aid training in schools and internationally recognized speakers.