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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Happy Healers


Family Medicine residency programs in the United States are required to promote resident well-being. This article describes how one residency does this by teaching the concepts of Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness developed by Dr. Martin Seligman utilizing a multi-media curriculum. As part of this curriculum, residents listen to the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” watch selected scenes from the movies Mary Poppins and The Lion King, and see a performance of the song and dance Electricity from the show Billy Elliot, the Musical. Research showing that happiness is contagious is also discussed. Finally, residents learn how to increase their own happiness by completing three exercises shown by Dr. Seligman to promote happiness.

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