Medicine in Motion combating pandemic burnout through fitness, physical activity (UMass Med News: Jan 26, 2021)

Medicine in Motion combating pandemic burnout through fitness, physical activity (UMass Med News: Jan 26, 2021)

School of Medicine students motivating classmates to stay active in challenging times

By Kylee Denesha, UMass Medical School Communications

January 26, 2021

School of Medicine students are motivating classmates to tackle stress and fatigue through fitness. UMass Medical School’s chapter of Medicine in Motion, a national nonprofit, is dedicated to addressing burnout in health care through exercise, interdisciplinary community building and philanthropy.

UMass Medical School’s chapter of Medicine in Motion is dedicated to addressing burnout in health care through exercise, interdisciplinary community building and philanthropy.

“There are several chapters throughout New England that share our mission. Since the coronavirus spread began, we’ve recognized the anxiety and stagnation that can come into play. We’re working hard to develop ways to engage our fellow students and be active in trying times,” said Jennifer Sullivan, SOM ’23, chapter co-leader and vice president of finance for the national organization.

“I’ve helped lead a lot of our workout classes, and for me, staying active is paramount to my ability to navigate medical school and life in general,” said Emily Vicks, SOM ’23, chapter co-leader. “I truly celebrate physical activity. This is a great way to provide an inclusive environment to stay healthy and keep us connected in a quarantined state.”

In past years, the chapter has organized monthly runs and workouts, participated in a 100-mile bike race, and completed 5k races and triathlons. Now that the pandemic has necessitated social distancing, Medicine in Motion has transitioned to new methods and strategies.

Members have held at-home bodyweight workouts via Zoom, and in the warmer months, socially distanced classes outdoors. A raffle was held in which students completed a workout of their choice and provided proof for a chance to win a prize. Group leaders say they respect that their peers do not want to be online more than they already are and have found ways to accommodate this.

“While we want to provide a positive space, we also want people to feel comfortable, whether it’s going for a walk alone or hitting the gym in a mask. Not all workouts need to be the same for everyone. Our goal is to encourage others to move at their own pace,” said Marianna Paradise, SOM ’23, chapter co-leader.

“It’s important for us to get as many people involved as we can. We work closely with Student Affairs, and also try to connect with local businesses and resources in order to provide the best opportunities for our students,” said Vanya Zvonar, SOM ’23, chapter co-leader.

The group is also active in social justice issues, including contributing to a number of national organizations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Since the summer of 2020, Medicine in Motion’s UMMS chapter and UMMS alumni have raised nearly $3,000 for causes such as NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Bail Out Fund and InnerCity Weightlifting. Members also held a run in memory of those who lost their lives to police brutality.

“As we have seen with COVID, there are a lot of issues with racism in public health. We took it upon ourselves to come together and do something to help,” said Shani Aharon, SOM ’21, chapter member and chief financial officer for the national chapter. “I think it’s a testament to the spirit of UMass Medical School students and alumni. We really care about this and it’s an incredible feat.”

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Chris Lites
Chris is a second year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. After graduating from Columbia University in 2016 with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior he worked in consulting and then managed a private practice for a cardiologist. Currently obsessed with boxing, calisthenics and functional strength training, Chris has always been a fitness fanatic. Since becoming a NASM certified personal trainer in 2018 he has been committed to promoting exercise and general wellness within each of his communities.
Jacob Klickstein
Jacob is a 4th year MD/PhD student at Tufts University School of Medicine working on his PhD in neuroscience. He currently works to create motor neurons from human stem cells, but when he isn’t in the lab, he can be found running down the esplanade, practicing handstands or tending to his indoor forest. Before joining Tufts, he worked as a clinical research assistant creating and maintaining a patient tissue bank for Alzheimer’s disease research. While at MGH, he helped establish the MGH running club and ran the 2017 Boston marathon. He continues his obsession with running as the leader of the TUSM running club and now as the COO at Medicine in Motion.
Amanda Cao
Amanda is a 2nd year student at Harvard Medical School. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri before attending college at MIT, where she graduated in 2019 with a degree in Biology. Amanda has always enjoyed playing sports and keeping active, and her favorite forms of exercise include swimming and boxing. Amanda is excited to work with Medicine in Motion to combine her interest in physical activity with her passion for building community within her profession.
Michael Duggan
Mike is a second year medical student at the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School in Brisbane, Australia. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 2016 with a BS in Biology, he worked as a clinical research coordinator on childhood obesity focused research projects at Massachusetts General Hospital. His biggest fitness accomplishments to date are running the Boston Marathon and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He is looking forward towards utilizing fitness to create and develop a sense of community among medical students.
Shani Aharon
Shani Aharon is a 4th year medical student at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. She considers herself adventurous, and would try any sport once: she grew up figure skating, rowed crew in college, played ultimate frisbee while working, and now runs in her free time in medical school. Having a few years of work-life balance as a healthcare consultant prior to medical school, Shani is passionate about maintaining mind-body wellness and helping do the same. She’s excited to put her past experience to good use as the CFO of Medicine in Motion.
Logan Briggs
Logan Briggs is a 4th year Harvard Medical Student. He swam for, and captained, the Dartmouth swim team and graduated in 2016. During a gap year before medical school, he worked as a wilderness guide in Tanzania and biked across the US to raise money for medical service work that he later performed in Nepal. Having been a lifelong swimmer, transitioned to triathlete, Logan strongly believes that regular exercise and social connection is the key to balance and happiness. He helped found Medicine in Motion to extend those benefits to others.
Chase Marso
Chase is a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical school and co-founder of Medicine in Motion. A former Augustana University quarterback and basketball coach in his hometown of Brandon, SD, he has always had a passion for physical fitness and a desire to encourage others in athletic achievement. Chase sees Medicine in Motion’s mission of inspiring others towards their physical fitness goals while promoting philanthropy as Medicine in Motion’s most unique and worthwhile endeavor.
Cray Noah
Cray is an engineer and doctor-in-training dedicated to innovating ways to increase access to preventative medicine and health technology. As a fourth-year student in Harvard’s MD/MBA program, he brings experience working at the nexus of biomedicine and business in the medical device startup space during his time at Georgia Tech and now in Boston. While passionate about innovative biotechnology, Cray believes creating community through exercise and fitness is the best form of preventative medicine to date and is dedicated to furthering that mission through Medicine in Motion. A native Texan, Cray has transitioned from football to triathlons, tennis and sailing since moving northeast.
Michael Seward
Mike is a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical School (HMS) where he co-founded Medicine in Motion in 2017 with Chase, Logan, and Derek. As a varsity ice hockey player at Harvard College, he became interested in nutrition and for his senior thesis implemented a traffic-light food labeling study in the college dining halls to encourage healthy eating choices. After graduating, he worked for two years in clinical research at an Obesity Prevention Program at HMS and worked at the Hospital for Special Surgery where he saw the alarming rise in knee replacements mirror national trends in obesity. This sparked his interest in the intersection of orthopaedic surgery, nutrition, and fitness, and his medical school thesis investigates a pre-operative remote weight loss intervention and mobile app for patients anticipating total joint replacement surgery.
Derek Soled
Derek is a fourth-year MD/MBA candidate at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School. He serves as the student council co-president at the medical school. Derek graduated from Yale University in 2016 as a double major in biology and sociology and was the captain of the Yale fencing team. He then pursued a MSc in medical anthropology from the University of Oxford where he set an all-time record in the pole vault. A recipient of the Walter Byers Scholarship, an honor bestowed by the NCAA to the country's best overall male and female student-athlete each year, and a current member of Team USA for fencing, Derek is passionate about sport and continues to compete at a professional level as well as coach low-income children in Boston. As a first-year medical student, Derek co-founded Medicine in Motion.
Avik Chatterjee, MD, MPH
Cross-Fit Extraordinaire
Frank McGovern, MD
Collegiate Swimmer, Triathlete
Noelle Saillant, MD
Runner, Cyclist
Dana Stearns, MD
Professional Cyclist
Jennifer Tan, MD
Bootcamp, Cyclist
Grant Riew
Grant is a first year medical student at Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Harvard College in 2019 with a degree in Human Evolutionary Biology and Economics. He is interested in the effects of modern environments (low activity, lots of sitting, and lots of calories!) on human health and disease and has previously researched the effects of exercise on joint health. Grant is now excited to be involved in MiM research and and can’t wait to get active with others to promote healthy lifestyles. In his spare time, Grant enjoys hanging with friends, going on long walks, and playing the cello.
Sara Rubin
Sara is a 6th year MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School and is currently in her 4th year of the Immunology PhD Program studying blood cell development in zebrafish. After graduating from Princeton University in 2014 with a degree in Chemistry, she spent one year conducting research that the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. In addition to her passion for medicine and science, Sara is an avid athlete who over the years has participated and competed in many different sports including gymnastics, softball, tennis, and pole vaulting. She was introduced to CrossFit and weightlifting in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since, always looking for opportunities to train and compete with friends and to share her love and knowledge of the sport of fitness with others. She is eager to bring her passion for fitness and community building to Medicine in Motion.
Jenny Sullivan
Jenny is a second-year medical student at UMass Medical School. She received her undergraduate degree in Global Health at Georgetown University in 2018, where she was also a diver on the Swim and Dive team for four years. Jenny is excited to find the same sense of community, support, and passion for fitness that she had during college athletics as a member of Medicine in Motion.
Erica Lee
Erica is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland - College Park in the Integrated Life Sciences Honors College. She is pursuing a degree in biology with a minor in business. She is interested in the effects of burnout in the medical field as well as how action can be taken to mitigate this growing issue. Erica has been swimming and playing soccer since she was six years old and looks forward to being able to combine her love of sports and science!
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