OMC Funded Accessibility Projects – Foundation Doctors’ and Medical Students’ Project

OMC Funded Accessibility Projects – Foundation Doctors’ and Medical Students’ Project

In line with our charitable aims we support training, activities or initiatives which widen access to, and participation in, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and practices. Our Accessibility Fund grants are given on the expectation of clear impact, outcomes and/or key learnings. Applications to the Accessibility fund are reviewed by Oxford Mindfulness Foundation Board members, OMC staff and external advisers.

Here, we highlight a recent project supported by the accessibility fund.



  • To propose a protocol for an adapted MBCT course for incorporation into core-curriculum training for Foundation Doctors, and to understand the barriers and facilitators (particularly with regard to home practice) to such an implementation.
  • To test feasibility and acceptability of adapted 8-session MBCT course for Foundation Doctors.
  • To test feasibility and acceptability of adapted 5-session Finding Peace in a Frantic World course for Medical Students (Year 4 of training).
  • To offer a means of recognising the unique stress, ways of responding to stress, self-care, mortality, burnout and resilience that junior doctors face


We worked with Foundation doctors (years 1 & 2) and associated staff to deliver the adapted 8-session MBCT course at a county hospital NHS trust in the UK. 15 participants (of which 10 were Foundation doctors) registered; committed core of 9 participants completed 4 or more sessions. Foundation doctors are junior doctors that have just completed their training and are newly assigned to Wards and hospital duties. Participants were voluntary, time-poor, and under pressure from work commitments. We will be piloting the adapted Finding Peace in a Frantic World course to 4 cohorts of conscripted 4th year medical students from September 2019. This course has been embedded into their secondment to a mental health NHS trust.


At the hospital education centre on site, we scheduled an adapted 8-session MBCT course of “1 x ½ day (4h) + 6 x 2h evening sessions + 2h follow up” for the Foundation Doctors. Enrolment was voluntary following 2 x 1h introductory lectures on Mindfulness to the whole cohort for each of the Foundation years. Course content included experiential sitting meditations, body scan, mindful movement and walking; as well as exercises understanding vulnerability, perceptual bias, surprise and premature closure, professionalism and patient relationships, boundaries and conflict management, communication, and self-care. Attendance was above average compared to similar published studies*. Nevertheless, whilst the content and value of the course was appreciated, the format and duration needed to be reviewed. The adapted Finding Peace in a Frantic World course will be delivered over 5 sessions and will emphasise vulnerability, perceptual bias and communication.

The results of the pre and post course measures for the adapted MBCT course and the qualitative questionnaires showed that:
• The course was helpful, valuable and taught new skills
• There were self-reported improvements in resilience, work-related acceptance and well-being
• The course did improve the doctors’ approach to their work, their colleagues and their patients

* Burton, A, Burgess, C, Dean, S, Koutsopoulou, G.Z., & Hugh-Jones, S. (2017). How Effective are Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Reducing Stress Among Healthcare Professionals? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Stress & Health, 33, 3-13