Conquering Stress, One Step at a Time

Salsa dancing is not something typically associated with medical school. But Karen Lawson, MD, wants to change that.

The idea to host a dance class originally presented itself as an idea out of the Student Wellbeing Committee for the Medical School. Dr. Lawson wanted to offer something to students that could help not only relieve stress, but that also sends a message that the faculty care about students as human beings, and not just by their test scores.

She herself has been salsa dancing herself for about four years. “When I learned that the entertainment for a research conference I was presenting at was a live salsa orchestra, I figured I had better learn,” says Lawson.

For the past three years, she has been organizing a salsa outing at a local dance studio, Duende. The event is free for University of Minnesota Medical students, along with their spouses or partners. “I think students really appreciate the opportunity to do something fun together as a group,” says Lawson.

This year, nearly 50 students signed up to participate– a big jump from years past, where only 25 to 30 students had signed up.

Duende, located in St. Louis Park, donates both the studio space and the cost of the instructor. “Without the support of Duende, the event wouldn’t be possible,” says Lawson. “We are incredibly grateful and look forward for years to come!”

Share this post

Related News

  • Transplant Expert Becomes Transplant Minnesotan

    Andrew Adams, MD, PhD, has joined the Department of Surgery as a professor and as chief of the Division of Transplantation at both M Health Fairview University of Minnesota hospitals. He brings $11.7 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health focused on developing novel therapies to improve outcomes for transplant patients.

  • Study Analyzes if Telemedicine is Efficacious in Treating Opioid Use Disorder

    Federal and state agencies have temporarily allowed unprecedented flexibility for the use of telemedicine, including audio-only visits, for encounters where opioid use disorder (OUD) medications are prescribed. Cuong Pham, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, is analyzing telemedicine’s efficacy for patients with OUD during COVID-19.

  • Researchers Study Cortisol Levels, Decision-Making in COVID-19 Healthcare Workers

    Alexander Herman, MD, PhD, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and David Darrow, MD, MPH, in the Department of Neurosurgery, are studying hair samples from frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how their cortisol levels might correlate with their responses on a multi-armed bandit task.”