Elective Years 1 and 2 Introduction to Mindfulness

Department: Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine (AHHM), Undergraduate Medical Education

Introduction to Mindfulness (In-Person)

Location: University of Alberta 

up to 12 hours of elective time from September 2023 to March 2024


To request additional information, contact Dr Marc-Antoine Landry, by email (marc-antoine.landry@ualberta.ca)


Mindfulness can be used directly to:

  • reduce stress
  • increase fulfillment
  • develop a professional skill
  • change a behaviour
  • develop heightened self-awareness (know yourself at all levels)
  • develop a spirit of love and service towards others

Just as physical training increases your baseline strength, endurance and flexibility, mindfulness training gradually increases your baseline of concentration, clarity and equanimity (the ability to not interfere with inner experiences as they arise and pass in a kind of hands-off relationship). As with physical training, mindfulness training persists throughout the day!

During all the sessions, students will practice mindfulness techniques and learn about the benefits of mindfulness practice. Students will learn to observe their own thoughts and feelings, both during formal practice, and while doing everyday things like exercising, walking, listening to music, etc.

Before the end of the course, students will write a short reflective essay (1-2 pages) about the personal significance of completing the elective.  Additionally, the student will conduct a quick review of published research on a question, or area related to mindfulness, health and medicine, of particular interest.


-Students are invited to attend all sessions.
-A practice log is strongly encouraged to be completed over the course of the elective.
-A short reflective essay has to be written at the end of the elective.
-A quick review of published literature has to be submitted before the end of the elective.

A pass/ fail grade will be assigned (as per the standard "Assessment of Elective Performance" form).
Students will be invited to complete a feedback form designed to help the elective coordinators improve this elective experience for students in subsequent years.



  1. To identify the benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion
  2. To understand how the three core skills of mindful awareness are improved with mindfulness practice.


  1. To use mindfulness to reduce your stress level, discover your own mind, enhance your sense of personal enjoyment and/or ability to help other people (your patients),
  2. To recognize how mindfulness can have a positive impact on the different roles of the medical profession such as communication, collaboration, health advocacy, leadership, professionalism and education.


  1. To learn when, why and how to perform a few different mindfulness techniques and self-compassion techniques.
  2. To learn strategies for enhancing mindfulness practice.
Additional Notes:

Interested students are invited to sign up online:

Mondays (In-Person) (Start date Sept 25, at lunchtime 12:00-12:50)

10 minutes of daily practice is strongly encouraged.

Marc-Antoine Landry, MD, FRCPC will lead each session. Dr. Landry is a practicing neonatologist, who has completed training to coach mindfulness. He uses mindfulness in his daily medical and personal life.

Medical students can complete more than one 12-hour elective in Year 1 and 2.

Last Updated: August 29, 2023