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Medicine in Motion (HMS News: May 13, 2020)


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Group brings health care students, workers together through fitness, philanthropy: https://hms.harvard.edu/news/medicine-motion

By MIKE CAMPBELL May 13, 2020 Education HMS Community

Medicine in Motion founders Derek Soled, Logan Briggs, Chase Marso and Mike Seward

Medicine in Motion’s Derek Soled, Logan Briggs, Chase Marso and Mike Seward

Chase Marso remembers the moment he realized Medicine in Motion, the fitness group he and three friends started during their first year at Harvard Medical School, had truly taken on a life of its own.

It was August 2019, and Marso and 18 other members of the group had just finished Bike to the Beach from Boston to Newport, R.I., an annual ride benefiting autism awareness and research. Their team raised more than $15,000.

“We had so many people that had very little biking experience on our team, and they committed to this 100-mile bike ride,” Marso said. “To see so many different people with varying levels of fitness going into the summer, commit to training together and to fundraising, that was a moment where I thought, ‘What we’ve been doing is worthwhile and worth continuing to grow to have more moments like this.’”

It had been a long journey to that Newport beach from the gym at Vanderbilt Hall.

That’s where the  students—Marso, Logan Briggs, Mike Seward and Derek Soled—met in the fall of 2017. What started with informal group workouts grew into a student group called Docs Who Lift, and the four recruited other HMS students to register for endurance events, like Spartan Races and triathlons.

Medicine in Motion at the Buzzard's Bay Triathlon in Sept. 2019
Medicine in Motion at the Buzzard’s Bay Triathlon in Sept. 2019

They had all been athletes before coming to HMS and had personally experienced the benefit of regular, intense physical activity.

“For me, working out is the only thing that offers a mental respite from my other responsibilities,” said co-founder Briggs. “Activities like watching a movie or playing video games just leave this nagging thought in the back of my head that I should be doing something more productive. So, working out is really the only time where I feel liberated from all the other tasks on my plate and comfortable that I’m doing something productive for my body and my mind.”

Co-founder Soled also sees regular physical activity as central to a balanced life for busy medical students and health care professionals.

“A lot of people wrongly look at physical activity and they say, ‘How do you have time to work out? You have these long days being a student or being a doctor,’” Soled said. “But it’s not like you’re adding this time; it’s that this time for physical activity is so integral to my day, and it’s what I need to flourish in all my other activities.”

In the summer of 2018, they, along with Katie Lantz, Seward’s girlfriend and fellow Harvard College alum, signed up for the Pan-Mass Challenge. Together, they biked 200 miles over the course of two days, despite Briggs being the only member with any previous long-distance cycling experience.

They also gained fundraising experience as each collected donations towards the $5,500 registration fee to benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Together, racing as Docs Who Lift, they raised more than $30,000.

“When that was over, we said, ‘OK, now what?’” said Marso.  “How do we go about doing this in year two? How do we include others?”

That fall, the founders hosted a meeting with other interested students from HMS, HSDM and other Boston-area medical schools to brainstorm ways to combine their interests in physical fitness, health care and philanthropy. Medicine in Motion was born.

Soled says Medicine in Motion has three goals.

“First, we want to promote well-being in health care professionals through physical activity. Secondly, we want to foster a sense of community among health care professionals, at all stages of training and all types of health care. Finally, we want to use this time together to fundraise and give back.”

To that end, Medicine in Motion registered as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit. The group grew to include chapters at HSDM, Boston University Medical School, Tufts University Medical School, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and most recently, the University of Queensland in Australia.  

In addition to organizing regular workouts and runs at their individual chapters, members also have also participated as teams in triathlons, long-distance bike rides and other endurance events. Within its first two years, Medicine in Motion recruited 684 medical professionals to take part in events, raising $50,000 for medical research initiatives.

Second-year HMS student Henry Ashworth, who has taken on a leadership role with the group, thinks the group’s focus on community building has been key to its growth.

“It’s fun to do these things, but it’s so much more fun when you’re with someone else,” he said. “It’s a much more meaningful experience if you feel connected to the people you’re around.”

Dylan Cahill, a first-year HMS medical student who has organized weekly group runs for Medicine in Motion, explained how the focus on physical activity provides an opportunity for medical students and health care workers of all levels to form connections.

“Maybe while jogging next to someone, you learn a little bit about what they do for a living, what they’re passionate about,” Cahill said. “And you say, ‘Hey, that’s something I’m interested in,’ or, ‘My buddy was looking to get into that sort of thing. Do you mind if I send you an email?’”

Soled also sees the opportunity to network with medical professionals at different points of their career as a benefit to the group.

“It brings people together who otherwise may have never interacted but are following the same trajectory,” he said. “You get a first-year medical student sitting next to an attending who is 30 years older than them who is interested in the same field.”

Medicine in Motion had been planning to cap off their third year with their first fully self-organized event: a 5k run along Boston’s Esplanade that would be open to the public. Planning was underway when the Longwood campuses, Boston and much of the rest of the country shut down to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

With members now separated by quarantine and finishing the semester online, planning for the 5k has been put on hold, and it seems unlikely the event will be held at the end of the summer as previously hoped.

But the group is finding ways to stay connected.

Cahill says many members use the mobile app Strava to share their runs, post selfies and leave encouraging comments for each other.

Ashworth with fellow second-year HMS student Niyi Odewade have started a workout of the day (WOD) program, devising fitness circuits people can easily do within their homes without gym equipment, encouraging people to use objects at hand—like milk jugs or a backpack full of books—to take the place of weight equipment.

“It provides a way for us to remain socially connected while physically distancing, which can take a toll on people’s mental and physical well-being,” said Odewade.

The two are creating a library of WODs on the Medicine in Motion website. Recently, the Dartmouth and Queensland chapters began leading weekly workouts on Zoom available to the public worldwide.

While the focus is on resistance and high-intensity interval training, Ashworth stresses that people should be sure to take the time for whatever self-care they find most necessary or useful.

“Maybe doing an intense exercise at home is not what you need today,” Odewade said. “Maybe you need that extra time to yourself to relax, to just sit and read a book, to call a friend, to go for a walk. To just absolutely do nothing and eat food on the couch, because that’s what you feel like you really want right then and there.”

Looking ahead, group leadership would like to see chapters in every state and in more countries, with a central organization financially stable enough to provide funding to individual chapters to organize their own events.

Logan Briggs, Mike Seward, Derek Soled with HMS Dean George Q. Daley at the 2019 Dean’s Community Service Awards
Logan Briggs, Mike Seward, Derek Soled and Chase Marso with HMS Dean George Q. Daley at the 2019 Dean’s Community Service Awards 

Seward said it’s been most satisfying to see new members take on leadership roles, ensuring the group has a future beyond the co-founders’ graduation.

“That was a goal for us this year: to get other people leading events, coming up with their own ideas,” he said. “Because we think if they can come up with their own ideas, they’ll take responsibility and really run with it.”

Soled sees the November 2019 Spartan race as a moment when Medicine in Motion’s new leadership took charge. More than 130 members participated in an endurance challenge at Fenway Park.

“The four of us [third-year co-founders] had virtually nothing to do with it in terms of preparation,” Soled said of the event, which was spearheaded by Medicine in Motion’s Tufts University School of Medicine chapter, captained by Jacob Klickstein. “We like to think we’re creating a model for years to come, and it was just very inspiring for us to see that.”

Looking at how far Medicine in Motion has come, Soled is optimistic about where the group will go.

“It’s been a challenge, but an extremely rewarding experience to see people setting benchmarks and goals for themselves,” he said. “That’s all we’re about.”

Related coverage in HM News: The Best of Who We Are

Images courtesy of Medicine in Motion.

Mass Medical Society – Nov 2019


130 Medical Students Join Together for Fenway Race

November 15, 2019

MedMotion

Students from local chapters of Medicine in Motion, a nonprofit organization composed of a diverse group of healthcare providers whose mission is to address medical burnout through fitness, interdisciplinary community building, and philanthropy, took part in “Fenway Stadion,” which was organized and managed by Spartan, the recognized global leader in obstacle course racing.

“Burnout in the medical field is such a salient issue these days, we try to address it by organizing various fitness events like training sessions or competitions,” said Logan Briggs, a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School and one of the founders of Medicine in Motion. “We’ve found that students, trainees, and attendings alike get a lot of fulfillment out of getting out there, meeting new people, and doing something healthy for their bodies and minds.”

The Fenway race drew 130 participants from Harvard medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

“It can be hard to meet other students and professionals in your field that are not at your own institution,” said Jacob Klickstein, a Medicine in Motion leader and M.D. candidate at Tufts. “We can easily get caught up in our class work and clinical hours. But seeing as Boston has such a large medical community, it would be a missed opportunity to not branch out and meet people from other institutions and fields. This presents a great opportunity for our members to expand not only their professional network but also their friend circle.”

Participants and leaders have embraced the concept of community wellness and philanthropy.

“I think this event was really successful not only because of the amazing turnout, but really because of the atmosphere at the race,” said Stephanie Vaughn, an M.D. candidate from Boston University. “Wellness, and particularly wellness through fitness, is so often a thing that students do in a silo or with a small static group of friends, so it was really great to see so many students come together, and I think that the camaraderie was really special. In a field that can be very competitive at times, it was so nice to see people supporting each other by waiting for the people that they were racing with and cheering as they saw others pass by.”

MGH Hotline – October 2019


Friday, October 4, 2019

‘Tri-ing’ to reduce burnout

New nonprofit promotes wellness, giving back

Ready, set, race: The Medicine in Motion team – which includes MGH staff – at the Buzzards Bay Triathlon.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 15, neonatologist Michael Prendergast, MD, finished an overnight shift in the MGHfC neonatal intensive care unit, jumped into a waiting car and headed to the Max Performance Buzzards Bay Triathlon, where he took first place honors in his age group – and secured an 11th place overall title – in the 1/3-mile swim, 14-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run.

“Changing from my scrubs into my triathlon suit, I essentially switched from being part of one extraordinary MGH team – who care for patients, families and each other – to joining an equally impressive group of MGH students, residents and attendings who are members of the Medicine in Motion group,” says Prendergast.

The Medicine in Motion group – comprised of medical professionals from throughout the Boston area – was established two years ago by four Harvard Medical School (HMS) students whose mission was to address medical burnout through fitness, community building and philanthropy. Last summer, it was designated as a national nonprofit and was given the 2019 HMS Dean’s Community Service Award.

“We want people to really focus on their own wellness and fitness because you have to take care of yourself so you can do what’s best for your patients,” says Logan Briggs, a third-year resident and co-founder of Medicine in Motion, who placed first in his age group and took third place overall honors in the event. “We strive to incorporate people from all different areas of the hospital – not just physicians – because an interdisciplinary culture will facilitate better relationships with staff and ultimately better patient care. Meeting new people also is such an important part of the human psyche, and it’s another great way to address burnout.”

Briggs and Prendergast were two the 36 Medicine in Motion teammates who competed in last month’s triathlon, a group that also included some potential future members. Noelle Saillant, MD, of the Department of Surgery, finished a 24-hour trauma surgery shift before tackling the running leg of the triathlon relay – all while six months pregnant and pushing her 4-year-old son in a stroller. “She was literally carrying three people!” Briggs says. “We gave her the ‘Put your Team on your Back Award.’”

Briggs also credits fellow medical students Chase Marso, Mike Seward, Derek Soled and Cray Noah with helping to organize and coordinate the events. The group is open to people of all athletic abilities – from entry-level newcomers to seasoned competitors, Briggs says. And, it complements the work of the newly established MGH Center for Physician Well-being – launched last June – which promotes a culture of well-being and professional fulfillment.

“The MGH is a leader in so many things, and physician burnout is an important topic of conversation,” Briggs says. “It’s so important to keep your fitness level up and get your mind off all the stress and responsibility that goes along with a career in medicine. We’re hoping to spread that mindset and we’d love for more people to join us.”

For more information about Medicine in Motion, visit https://medmotion.org/.

The Shield – University of Southern Indiana – Sept 2019


Biking to the beach for a good cause

USI alumnus races in 100 mile bike ride for autism research

Emma Corry, Features Editor|September 10, 2019

Evan+Stieler%2C+a+2017+graduate%2C+stands+behind+the+banner+with+his+teammates+Aug.+31.

Photo courtesy of Medicine in Motion

Evan Stieler, a 2017 graduate, stands behind the banner with his teammates Aug. 31.Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via Email

Evan Stieler had never attended a bike race when he took part in the 2019 New England Ride for Autism and Disabilities.

The event took riders down a 100 mile route from Boston, Massachusetts to Newport, Rhode Island. Although the former USI student was tired by the end, he knew it was for a good cause.

Stieler graduated from USI in 2017 with a degree in biology. He currently studies at the Harvard School of Medicine which is where he came in contact with Medicine in Motion, an organization of medical professionals who focus on bridging fitness and philanthropy to the medical profession.

Stieler said the organization tries to participate in a long bike ride every year. This year they chose to attend a race by Bike to the Beach, an organization that holds bike races in major U.S. coastal cities to raise money for autism research and awareness.

“It was kind of a perfect fit and we all really enjoyed it,” Stieler said. “It was a beautiful bike ride. A lot of it hugged the Atlantic coast so you’re riding by the beach for a lot of it so you can always look to your left and see the ocean.”

Stieler didn’t get many chances to ride a bike when he lived in Evansville. To prepare for the race, he would practice on Saturdays, going from 30 miles one weekend to 35 the next so he could build up to the 100 miles.

“It shows you, if you have a mission or something you train for, we are all much more capable of those kinds of things than we even realize,” Stieler said.

The race began at 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 31. The Mediation in Motion team consisted of around 10 people who were mainly medical students that Stieler shared a class with. The ride lasted seven hours long.

“We really lucked out,” Stieler said. “It was a beautiful day. It was just over 80 degrees with a nice breeze and we didn’t have to fight any weather.”

Stieler biked through different cities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and scenic paths through forested areas.

“It was kind of nice that we had changing scenery because when you’re in a city you’re moving your legs for so long and it’s nice to have something to keep you occupied,” He said.

Stieler was more focused on finishing the race than speed, but during the last 10 miles, he did try to move faster, despite the fact his leg went numb around mile 90. He kept on expecting the end of the race to be on the next turn for the last few miles.

“I definitely felt very relieved to finally cross,” Stieler said. “I just felt so grateful that my friends had presented the idea to me and that I was willing to think about it and do it. It really was such a great experience just to fundraise the money and know it was going to an awesome cause.”

Medicine in Motion raised around $15,000 of the over $2 million total funds raised for the event. The Bike to the Beach website contains individual links to donate to specific racers. Stieler individually raised around $600, and he had never done a fundraiser before. He said the money goes to different organizations in the Northeastern U.S. tasked with different forms of autism and disability research and care.

“I thought it was for such an amazing cause,” Stieler said. “You draw so much motivation from other people who are like-minded and wanting to help out.”

Benjamin Dalley, the director of operations for Bike to the Beach, said people who can’t participate in the races can support the organization by sharing their website and telling their story.

“What Bike to the Beach is all about is trying to celebrate the disability community,” Dalley said. “There are so many people that are overcoming challenges every day in their disability or people who are hopping on their bikes for the first time to bike…people who are making a commitment to raise money to help the community. Bike to the Beach is all about inspiring people to be successful.”

Stieler said, as someone who never biked before, his experience shows that you can train for anything with the proper amount of dedication and preparation.

“Having in mind something that you’re training for really gives you something,” Stieler said. “I highly recommend it. I wish I would have done more in college.”

Stieler plans to attend a triathlon with Medicine in Motion this week. He said that after the 100 mile bike ride, the run will be no problem.

HMS Dean’s Community Service Award – June 2019


‘The Best of Who We Are’

Dean’s Community Service Awards recognize extraordinary service in communities all over the globeBy JEFFRY STANTON June 6, 2019 Awards and AchievementsHMS Community251

Recipients of the 2019 Dean's Community Service Awards. Image:  Jeff Thiebauth

Back row, left to right:
Katherine Ratzan Peeler, Michael W. Seward, Logan Briggs, Derek Soled, Chase Marso, Joan Reede, Charles Rickert and George Daley

Front row, left to right:
Jennifer K. Tan, Miles G. Cunningham, Jeremy A. Goss, Ellen Levine and Philip Trevvett

Excellence in service and leadership is central to the missions of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Embodying humility, commitment to community and selfless advocacy for underserved and vulnerable populations, 14 Harvard Medical School faculty, staff, trainees and students were honored at the 2019 Dean’s Community Service Award ceremony on June 5.

Get more HMS news here

HMS Dean George Q. Daley, the event’s first speaker, recognized the “impressive and life-changing efforts” of the honorees gathered for a celebratory breakfast in the Waterhouse Room at Gordon Hall.

“Thank you for being creative and tireless leaders who are advancing our mission of outreach and service to the needy, to the suffering, to those who may have been forgotten and to many diverse populations,” Daley said, “and for serving as activists and ambassadors … campaigning for better health—and better life—here in Boston and around the world.”

Whether promoting awareness of those with a rare disease, evaluating and documenting evidence of trauma for asylum seekers, integrating health, wellness and philanthropy to fund cancer research or leveraging technology to connect diaspora physicians to patients in rural Libya and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, this year’s recipients exemplify the School’s core values, according to Joan Reede, dean for diversity and community partnership at HMS, in remarks prior to presenting the awards.

“In these trying times, it sometimes feels like … we may be slipping back as opposed to moving forward,” said Reede. “It’s important to recognize that good work is still being done, that there is still a commitment to forward progression, and to justice, and to equity and to health care for everyone. It is part of who we are at Harvard. It is part of our mission. It is part of our values. It is part of who we are, and you are examples of the best of who we are.”

Charles Rickert, clinical fellow in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and leader of the Community Health Team in the Mass General Department of Surgery, was recognized for his work to raise awareness within his department to improve patient care for underserved populations and at-risk youth. Expressing optimism for the future of health care for all, Rickert said, “When I think about health care in the United States and the medical community, there’s never been a group of people with greater potential to do good.”

Jennifer K. Tan, instructor in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, is a co-founder of the Harvard Dermatology-Boston Health Care for the Homeless collaboration. Accepting her award, she said that taking care of the homeless individuals and families in this program has been “the most meaningful piece of my career in medicine.”

Miles G. Cunningham,assistant professor of psychiatry at McLean Hospital, was presented with this year’s lifetime achievement award for his 24 years of service as founder and board member of Asniya, Inc. Established in 1995 when Cunningham was a fourth-year student at HMS, Asniya serves as an outreach program to expose Native American children to careers in health care, while expanding the cultural awareness of future physicians.

In accepting his award, Cunningham noted that despite the accolade of lifetime achievement, he has no plans to wind down. “We have so much more to do,” he said.

Like many of his fellow honorees, Cunningham shared his award with his many collaborators and colleagues, noting that he is just one member of a larger community of health care providers and advocates bound by a common call to change the world for the better.

“It is said that the strength of the pack is the wolf, but to me, truly,” Cunningham said, “the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

The Dean’s Community Service Awards, established in 1999, recognize individuals whose dedication and commitment to improving the lives of others have made a positive impact on local, national or international communities. The Lifetime Achievement Award was added in 2004.

There have been 142 awardees to date, including 54 faculty members (12 of whom have also earned Lifetime Achievement Awards), 30 trainees, 36 students and 22 staff members.

As part of the award program, HMS donates $1,000 to each community organization represented by the awardees, with 130 donations to date.

Image:  Jeff Thiebauth

2019 HMS Dean’s Community Service Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement

Miles G. Cunningham, assistant professor of psychiatry, McLean Hospital
Asniya, Inc.

Faculty

Katherine Peeler, instructor in pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
Physicians for Human Rights

Jennifer K. Tan, instructor in dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Trainees

Mohamed M. Aburawi, research fellow in surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Speetar

Jeremy A. Goss, research fellow in surgery, Boston Children’s Hospital
The Link Market

Charles G. Rickert, clinical fellow in surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Community Health Team, Mass General Department of Surgery

Students

Jonathon Florance, HMS 2020
Brookline American Legion

Abra Shen, HMS 2020
Longwood Chorus

Logan Briggs, Chase Marso, Michael W. Seward and Derek Soled, HMS 2021
Medicine in Motion

Staff

Ellen Levine, administrative coordinator, Armenise-Harvard Foundation
International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation

Philip Trevvett, content curator, Harvard Catalyst | Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center
Urban Greens Food Co-op