Medical students use self-reflection to improve patient care

McCann and his fellow academic superstars had come to a classroom at Thomas Jefferson University to do something unusual for them: talk about their feelings.

They were participating in Reflection Rounds, an experimental protocol meant to help students stay in touch with a sense of spirituality – very broadly defined – that might help them keep their hearts open and protect them from cynicism and burnout as they encounter the suffering, disappointment, and limitations that permeate medicine.

McCann decided the best thing he could do to help the man was to organize and record his story. “It felt like such a hollow gesture,” he told his friends.

Stacey Burling