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Table 4 Qualitative analysis of student enrollment motivation (N = 16) and integrating the course into required curriculum (N = 27)

From: Compassion cultivation training promotes medical student wellness and enhanced clinical care

Coded Themes Representative Student Quotes Significance
Motivation to gain well-being strategies “I wanted to learn how to be more mindful and compassionate with my patients, my family, and myself.” Students are eager to have this training for personal and professional reasons. Requiring CCT in medical school curriculum validates the current climate of high burnout rates and compassion fatigue. Requiring CCT would provide all students the opportunity to learn self-care and improve patient interactions. However, students must buy into this type of training, and requiring CCT could have unintended consequences if doubtful students change course dynamics or effectiveness.
Motivation to increase compassion for self, patients, and others “Before entering residency, I wanted to arm myself with as much knowledge and understanding of ways to prevent burnout and maintain resilience for myself and the benefit of my future patients.”
Require CCT for the humanistic reconnection “Because healthcare in the twenty-first century feels mechanical at best, and not in a good way. The practice of medicine should always focus around the human being that is being cared for - the patient - and not scientific knowledge or profit or any other non-human entity, and I believe that a CCT course can potentially help many others to maintain their focus on the human aspect of medicine.”
Require CCT to gain coping skills not learned elsewhere for stress and to prevent burnout “Coping with stress is something that is not taught in the core curriculum.”
“It’s a nice skill for students to see if they will find useful in daily practice. Some might find it useful, but never thought of taking the class.”
“Bring the body and the mind will follow…”
Do not require CCT because of different learning styles and student choice “That particular style of training doesn’t fit everyone.”
“Teaching compassion requires a mind open to compassion. Forcing the matter will create resentment in those convinced they ‘don’t need it.’”
Do not require CCT because it would change course dynamics and experience “I believe that self-selecting to some degree creates a welcoming and accepting environment—everyone is there because they want to be and not because they are forced to be.”
“I don’t think it is beneficial to force medical students to take this course because there is a certain amount of the philosophy that can only be effective in a receptive audience.”