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Studies in Disabilities in the Modern World – UI Health

Updated: 7/6/16

This elective is 2 weeks in length and will be offered on the following dates:
August 29 – Sept 10, 2016
February 27-March 11, 2017

There are no prerequisites for this elective, and is open to M3 – M4 medical students.

By the conclusion of this two-week elective, participating medical students will be able to:

  1. identify stressors which are caused by their own approach to studying, working with patients, and other healthcare professionals,
  2. Recognize stress signals in their body,
  3. Apply at least five approaches to mindfulness of stress and anxiety in their body and mind,
  4. Recognize the importance of their own projective thoughts in creating stress and anxiety,
  5. Distinguish between thoughts and feelings,
  6. Sit in mindful meditation 10 – 15 minutes each day of the first week of the course and 20 – 30 minutes in the second week,
  7. Examine the effects of the specific approaches to mindfulness by maintaining a daily journal,
  8. Self-assess their progress in mindfulness by summarizing their journal, combining their insights in a literature based reflective paper of no more than 10 pages.


Overall Instructional Approach
This is a course based on active learning theory. The laboratory for the course is the student themselves. Experiential lectures will incorporate discussions based around information provided in the required text, articles obtained by the students or provided by the instructors, and commentary offered by the instructors and the students.

Course length
The course will take place each week-day over a two-week period. Each day will be eight hours in length with each day divided into three segments:

Segment 1- Practicing meditation and discussing the process of daily meditation

  • Using daily meditation to develop mindfulness
  • Learning the process of focusing (felt awareness)
  • Utilizing techniques of mind-training through recognition of ways that we can modify how we identify projections and how we think about the feelings that evolve from our life encounters (with people, events, thoughts)

Segment 2 – Presentation of approaches to mindfulness in the present moment.

  • strategies for studying under stress,
  • working with procrastination, moments of anxiety, sadness, grief, anger, desire, hope and other key emotions. This is not a therapy course and we will not go into the psychological issues surrounding these phenomena. Rather we will utilize mindfulness strategies to assist in disengaging from the feelings, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and projective judgments which create and are manifested by the emotions,
  • Test anxiety: getting ready for tests, anxiety within a test, post-test anxiety,
  • Mindful awareness of others and interpersonal communications:
    • Compassionate communication (deep listening in conversation & listening with feeling)
    • Observation without judgment,
    • The G.R.A.C.E Model
  • movement, yoga and other body work
  • active in-class journaling.

Segment 3 incorporates readings and activities from the required text, discussion of articles provided by the instructors and other visiting presenters along with articles found by the students.

  • This discussion is a critical part of each day. This third segment will end with short guided meditations based on the theme of the day.


  1. Attendance: 50%
    1. 100% attendance is expected. Students are expected to arrive on time, be ready for class, having done their assignments, and are expected to remain in class through the day until the end.
  2. Participation: 25%
    1. Students are expected to actively involve themselves in discussions, asking questions, and be fully engaged in activities: 40%
  3. Final reflective paper: 25%
    1. The paper will be based on the journaling that students are required to complete each day supported by found related literature. Some journaling activity will take place in class, but students are also expected to journal at the end of each day prior to sleeping. The paper will be a reflective analysis of the student’s growth over the two weeks, including insights gained from the class and from personal meditation and other mindfulness activities.

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number

    ELEC: 291

  • Program Contacts

    Faculty Coordinator:  Mark Gelula, PhD
    Telephone: (312) 996-2696   Email:

    Instructor: Doreena Durbin, MEd –

  • Program Information

    Duration of Elective: 2 weeks
    Night Call: N/A
    Weekends:  N/A
    # of Students Accepted: Min: 6  Max: 25
    ​House staff  Used as Faculty:   No
    Number of hours per week: 40
    Lectures/Conferences/Faculty Contact: 40
    Laboratory:  20

    Independent Study:  N/A
    Outpatient: N/A
    Inpatient:  N/A
    Total Hours /Week:  40