Wellness Initiative & Task Force

To be comprehensive, HMS established a task force that assists with the wellness initiative, including wellness curriculum review and identifying ways to reduce burnout and promote resilience on clinical rotations.

Dr. Jennifer Potter is leading this initiative, housed in the Offices of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the faculty and staff that support student life: the Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs, the Academic Societies, Vanderbilt Hall, the Office of Learning Resources and Support and the Office of Disability Services.

Wellness Student Interest Group

The voice of the student population is a cornerstone of our initiative as we aim to ensure that we are moving in the right direction by hearing from our students what is working, what is not, and how we can best support the wellness and mental health of our students. The Wellness Student Interest Group serves as one of the voices guiding the initiative in addition to organizing fun wellness activities and engaging in other endeavors that also support the wellness initiative.

Speaker Series: Sharing Struggles & Building Resilience

The speaker series is part of a larger attempt to address the impact that culture may have on wellness from effortless perfection to mental health stigma. All HMS students are welcomed to attend and events are announced by email.

Student Wellbeing Grant Program

The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to announce a new Student Well-Being Grant Program that is generously funded by HMS alumni donors and the Aesculapian Club. This program will support the rollout of “by-students-for-students” innovations designed to optimize student health and well-being. All HMS and HSDM students enrolled in the Pathways and HST programs are eligible and PCE students are especially encouraged to apply. Grants of up to $250-2000 will be awarded on a quarterly basis.

Selection Process

Proposals will be reviewed by a subcommittee composed of student and faculty members of the HMS Steering Committee on Student Well-Being. The selection committee will consider the following questions in evaluating each proposal:

  • Does it address a demonstrated student well-being need?
  • Does it employ innovative ideas and methods?
  • Does it demonstrate collaboration across student groups, HMS programs and curricular phases (Preclinical, PCE, Post-PCE (includes students doing a research year, MBA, MEd, MPH, or MPP), PhD)?
  • Which students are most likely to benefit?
  • Could the scope be broadened to include other students?
  • Is the staffing described realistic?
  • Is the budget described adequate or excessive?
  • Is the timeline for implementation and completion clearly outlined?
  • Is there a plan to measure the project’s effectiveness?

Selected proposals may be offered partial or complete funding. Funding is limited so please ask for only what is necessary for your porject so that we can fund the maximum number of projects. 

2021 – 2022 Grant Cycle Key Dates


Application Due Date

Notification of Award


April 15, 2021

May 15, 2021


July 1, 2021

August 1, 2021


October 1, 2021

November 1, 2021


January 1, 2022

February 1, 2022

Student Well-being Grant Program Application Form Link


Living Well


HMS Dining

Locations & Menus: Atrium Café (TMEC), Courtyard Café (Goldenson & Armenise), Elements Café (NRB), Sebastian's Café (T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

Grocery Stores

Student recommendations: Whole Foods Audubon Circle, Trader Joes Coolidge Corner, Star Market Fenway, Target Fenway, Stop & Shop Brigham Circle


Recommended by students: Yoga, local gyms, intramural sports, running

Harvard Facilities

Vanderbilt Gym 

The facility is available as a complimentary privilege to all matriculated Harvard University students registered in a degree program. Intramural basketball, soccer & volleyball; group fitness classes; basketball, squash and tennis court rentals; and more.

Harvard Athletics


The Arts

Arts and Humanities Initiative

The Arts and Humanities Initiative aims to foster creativity and scholarship in the arts and medical humanities at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals, to support a community of faculty and students engaged and interested in the arts and humanities, and to enhance patient care through reflection and compassion.

BSO (Boston Symphony Orchestra) Medical Card

Using music to heal the healer, this innovative program is designed to engage medical, graduate, and dental students and residents with access to live classical music concerts during their tenure in Boston. In conjunction with the Arts and Humanities Initiative, students will be able to purchase a BSO Medical Card each for $5.00 entitling the bearer to two tickets to one concert each week throughout the season (September 1 through August 1). Each school, degree program, and residency department has their own distribution process. For more information, please contact your Office of Student Affairs or Residency Program Administrator. 

Outings & Innings

Outings & Innings provides various perks and discounts to Harvard staff, faculty, retirees and students, including museum, movie, sporting events, and theater tickets. To see a full listing and to sign up for weekly alerts on specials, visit their webpage.


Enjoy the seasons!


Day trips or weekend trips to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Maine, and Vermont and sailing at Community Boating


Apple picking and leaf peeping in the Green Mountains of New Hampshire and the Berkshires of Massachusetts or right in town along the Esplanade and Emerald Necklace


Boston is a winter wonderland with skiing, sledding, ice skating, and hot chocolate. Wear layers, wool socks, scarfs, hats, and gloves, and get a hardy pair of waterproof snow boots along with a warm winter coat.


Flowers in their time and spectating or running the Boston Marathon

Outdoor Recreation

Students recommend:
Local parks and greenways
Hiking – Blue Hills, White Mountains (New Hampshire)
Biking – Minuteman Bikeway, Cape Cod Rail Trail, Charles River Esplanade
Skiing – Mount Snow
Beaches – Cape Cod, Cape Ann on the North Shore

New England Getaways

Leave the city and explore New England with just a 1-2 hour drive. Visit the White Mountains, Vermont, Maine, Cape Cod, Cape Anne, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Boston Harbor Islands.


Students Recommend:

Favorite places for peace & quiet: Stoneman Healing Garden (Dana Farber), Countway Library (HMS)
Shop: Newbury Street, Harvard Square, Central Square, Coolidge Corner, South End, North End
Cook (including cooking together in the Vandy kitchens)
Student Interest Groups
Learn a language
Hanging with friends

Advice from Current Students

  1. Keep your expectations of yourself and others dynamic and realistic.
  2. Take care of your physical and mental health. Get out and do things you enjoy with people you enjoy. Balance studying, class and sleep. Make time for friends and family.
  3. Learn to recognize and manage the expectation of achievement, “imposter” syndrome, depression and anxiety.
  4. Reach out to other students, faculty and advisors when you are feeling overwhelmed or have questions. Living with other HMS students can be a good way to build a support network.
  5. Take the initiative to explore opportunities. Choose mentors wisely.
  6. Give yourself time to adjust to life in Boston.
  7. Celebrate diversity!
  8. Participate in extracurricular activities, including student interest groups, student publications and Harvard programs (e.g., tutoring premeds, dual degrees, cross-registration and events at other Harvard schools).