International Journal of Yoga
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PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 246-249
Integrating yoga into undergraduate American medical education

1 Department of Medicine, University of Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, USA
2 Ross University School of Medicine, Bridgetown, Barbados
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sridevi R Pitta
University of Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, 2505, Scripture St. Ste 100 Denton, Tx, 76201-2481
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.ijoy_115_22

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Undergraduate medical education (UGME) is the time when doctors' attitudes toward patients and their profession are formed. It is also a period of tremendous stress for future physicians, including high levels of negative stress. Such stress can be maladaptive and may sow the seeds of burnout and long-term dissatisfaction. We believe that the introduction of yoga practice in the 1st year of medical school could ameliorate the negative stressors to which undergraduate medical students are exposed. Although there are some studies in the U.S. and internationally that support the use of Yoga in UGME, they do not provide sufficient data to make a compelling case for widespread implementation of yoga programs in undergraduate curricula. We, therefore, wish to advocate for conducting a trial of the integration of yoga in the undergraduate medical curriculum to combine yoga's ancient health wisdom into the context of modern scientific medicine. Large, prospective, multicenter, and multi-method pilot projects are needed to identify how a program of yoga practice and theory could counter the UGME environment that ultimately produces depression, anxiety, and non-effective coping strategies among medical students. A curriculum for yoga for undergraduate medical students deserves serious consideration and a prominent place among efforts to improve UGME.

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