Mindfulness and integrative medicine are woven throughout the curriculum at the Cherry Hill Family Medicine Residency. Primary care physicians have among the highest burnout rates. We believe that integrative medicine and mindfulness techniques are one way to help build resiliency and support the self-care of our residents. It also equips residents with techniques they can share with their patients. The major components of this curriculum include the following:
- A Mind Body Medicine curriculum that is spread over the three years of residency, concentrated during behavioral science months. During these months, residents learn mindfulness techniques and participate in mind body groups with their classmates.
- Integrative medicine (IM) topics presented at didactics monthly. This includes learning the foundations of integrative and functional medicine as well as learning specific modalities to approach conditions like menopause, thyroid dysfunction, chronic pain, migraines and more.
- Providing consults at the Integrative Medicine clinic at Cherry Hill. All of our residency affiliated clinics can refer patients to this clinic. Also available at no cost to patients is a 6 week long a Mind Body Medicine group held once or twice annually.
- Starting in 2015, our residency is implementing the culinary medicine curriculum developed at Tulane University. Over the 3 years, residents will attend a variety of sessions in a teaching kitchen where they will learn about maximizing the nutritional value of foods and utilizing food as medicine.
Culinary Medicine Curriculum
What if every time you went to your physician s/he gave you a recipe as one of your prescriptions? Even though studies support dietary changes as being critical to the treatment and prevention of chronic disease, physicians are grossly underprepared to offer nutritional counseling. Our residency is proud to prioritize nutrition as an important intervention for our patients and our new culinary medicine curriculum is an extension of our commitment to offer innovative training to future physicians. We are honored to be one of a handful of residencies licensing this curriculum from the Tulane Goldring Center of Culinary Medicine. The curriculum teaches evidence-based nutrition through case studies and practical training in a teaching kitchen. Physicians actually learn how to cook nutrient-dense meals that they can then suggest to their patients in the exam room. In particular, we discuss how these results can be attained for the low income families we serve.
The curriculum includes pre-work with readings of current articles and review of material relevant to that teaching topic. Physicians then come to the session with a shared level of knowledge to apply to a case study. After working on the case, they enter the kitchen with assigned recipes and then we eat the final products together while discussing their nutritional information. Physicians leave with a sense of how to discuss these practical changes with patients and are better equipped to counsel them in the exam room. As one of our interns, Kirsten Hansen Day, in a recent session said, “You could have shown me all this in a PowerPoint slide but it would not have stuck with me the way it does now after actually doing it myself.” We are very excited about how this curriculum can transform the learning environment at our program and are proud to always be on the cutting edge of how to teach medicine.