Health sciences university introduces 7-day Art of Living workshop to see if it helps aspiring docs beat depression

Concerned about the rising number of depression cases and suicidal tendencies among medical students, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has decided to introduce mandatory counselling for aspiring doctors.

Dr Arun Jamkar, V-C of MUHS

But before implementing the course, MUHS wants to prove the need for such a course and its effect on students' lives by starting a small pilot study.

As part of its research on this subject, the university has introduced the counselling module in about 100 ayurvedic and homeopathic medical colleges attached to it as the ayurvedic and homeopathic council of the university has approved the course.

The course, which is in the form of a seven-day workshop, is voluntary at present and students who take it up will be the subjects of the pilot project.

"We have appointed the Art of Living Foundation for carrying out the seven-day workshop among students. They will conduct workshops as well as do follow-ups. The counsellors will also interview students participating to know the effect of the workshop on their lifestyle in a bid to study if the workshops have any positive impact," said Dr Arun Jamkar, vice-chancellor, MUHS.

According to Jamkar, he wants to collect some data on the efficacy of the course so that he can make a case for the course being made mandatory as it would be a paid course.

"The Gujarat health sciences varsity has made this kind of workshop compulsory for students. I too wish to make a proposal to do a similar thing for the betterment of students and that's why this pilot study, so I can prove the impact by documenting it," said Jamkar.