2022 STAR Educator Recipient: Jon Courand, MD

Dr. Jon CourandJon A. Courand, MD

Professor & Vice Chair
Department of Pediatrics

Nomination Submission:
The UT Health San Antonio Compassion Course is based upon the Compassion-Integrity Training program offered by Life University in Marietta, Georgia, and was envisioned by Mayor Ron Nirenberg to establish San Antonio as a “Compassionate City”. This Compassion Course was developed under the belief that our physicians in training are intrinsically moral and ethical people who can be taught the guiding principles of Empathy and Compassion. The 10-month long course is broken up into 3 Domains: Self, Other, and Society, and encompasses 10 separate modules. The self-directed structure of the course is unique, providing participants with a framework, tools and practices which they can use in their interactions with supervisors, peers, staff, patients and families. These day-to-day interactions then become their “compassion workshop”. Each module has a specially chosen Module Director who enriches the basic framework, provides guidance, and then invites participants to share their experiences employing the tools and practices over the preceding month. In these wrap-up or consolidation meetings, participants share their experiences and insights as they listen and draw from the experiences of others. I believe, and members of the cohort have confirmed that having this course in the middle of the pandemic has been serendipitous. It has been encouraging and at points even moving to hear examples from participants who chose to take a compassionate approach with a frightened patient, an angry family, or even a disillusioned peer, because they had learned the appropriate mindset and techniques. It takes on an even deeper meaning imagining these same scenarios devoid of the benefit of these compassionate practices. As with all similar teachings, the greater the repetition the more engrained the process. For our cohort members, the course in only the first step into the wider world of compassionate action on behalf of themselves, others, and society as a whole.

Dr. Courand’s Faculty Profile