Medical School Programs

National Competencies in Spirituality and Health Initiative

Funded by the F.I.S.H foundation, the purpose of this initiative is to formulate a common set of spirituality-related competencies for medical students, and develop a competency-based instrument for program assessment that can be used by all U.S. medical schools. Learn more about this initiative.

Outcome goals and learning objectives

In a consensus conference with the AAMC, Dr. Puchalski and several noted medical school educators and chaplains developed outcome goals and learning objectives for courses in spirituality and health for medical schools and residency programs. Learn more about these outcome goals and learning objectives.

Spirituality and Medicine Medical Student Interest Group

The widespread and innovative educational offerings of GWish are also exemplified by the Spirituality and Medicine Medical Student Interest Group, the first spirituality and medicine interest group in the United States for medical students. Medical students at GW SMHS are provided with a monthly forum to discuss and learn about issues involving spirituality and the practice of medicine. GWish and the interest group are featured in the medical school's brochure, and some students specifically choose GW because of of their interest in spirituality and health.

Memorial Service

Dr. Christina Puchalski is faculty advisor for the annual memorial service for people who have donated their bodies to medical science. First year medical students work with Dr. Puchalski to develop creative and inspirational ceremonies to honor donors and their families. This memorial service is very well received and praised by families and the University community.


Dr. Puchalski and GWish faculty are involved in teaching campus-wide.