Practising medicine holistically

Training for third year medical students
Dec 2012
Craig Brown

I have had an interest and passion for promoting a holistic approach in medical care throughout my career as a general practitioner. I have also been aware of the detrimental affect burnout can have on practitioners themselves and the care of their patients.1
I had an opportunity in 2006 to run a student selected component (SSC) module at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and I have facilitated 17 modules to date.


The background for an SSC in holistic medicine
is outlined.The teaching process for this module with the content of the sessions for each week is described, and the students’ comments from their written report of the SSC are included in the text.The sessions have a planned format but are flexible enough to respond to the needs of each group. The place of holistic medical training in the undergraduate programme is discussed.

First Paragraph

What is an SSC?
The SSC programme is a substantial element of the medical curriculum in which students select non-core topics to study. The General Medical Council stipulates that around 25–33% of an undergraduate medical student’s teaching programme should be comprised of student chosen components.2 The emphasis of the SSC is to enable students to gain exposure to a diversity of settings and a wide range of topics, providing an opportunity to study particular areas of medicine, science and health-related subjects in depth. During the programme students can develop various skills and improve their knowledge base.