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About this Course

This course has been designed to teach healthcare trainees and providers that are early in their careers how to recognize and modulate response to stressors during critical patient care events.


  • Introduction to mindfulness
  • Openness to acquiring meta-analysis skills related to stress-inducing events
  • Motivation to learn behavioral skills to reduce stress and maintain high cognitive functioning during stress-related events
  • Participation in direct patient care, ideally with at least minimal experience in acute or critical care, or resuscitation
  • Absolute basic knowledge of procedural skills relative to the individual scope of practice (MDs/MSs: intubation, central line placement, arterial lines, trauma survey, etc.; RNs: IV start, medication administration, nursing assessment, floor/OR/ICU/ED patient care experience, etc.)

Course Directors

Michael O’Hara, MD

Michael O'Hara MD

I am a resident physician in the combined Pediatrics & Anesthesiology residency program here at Stanford. My interest in medicine is in the care of critically ill children and adults, and the multidisciplinary art of resuscitating these patients. My focus specifically is in medical education and developing strategies to better prepare healthcare trainees to handle these stressful clinical encounters. My interest in this topic grew out of my own search to find ways to manage the anxiety I felt during intense situations many years ago. Prior to attending medical school, I worked for years as an advanced EMT, a volunteer firefighter and in the emergency department of a busy trauma center and participated in many situations that proved significantly stressful. Throughout my training in medicine, I’ve increasingly observed the similarities that exist between healthcare and other high-risk industries like firefighting, EMS, and the military and aviation. My hope is to adapt some of these unique training strategies to healthcare training in order to improve the learning and experience for our trainees around the topic of stress and performance.

Becky Blankenburg, MD, MPH

Becky Blankenburg MD

Becky Blankenburg, MD, MPH is the Associate Chair for Education for the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University. Previously an Associate Program Director and then Residency Program Director, she is a national leader in Graduate Medical Education and Pediatric Hospital Medicine. Her educational interests include how to optimize learning opportunities in the clinical environment, helping learners improve through longitudinal coaching and helping learners communicate with patients and families to improve patient understanding, patient satisfaction, and patient safety.

Michael J Lauria, MD

Michael J Lauria, MD

Michael Lauria is currently an emergency medicine resident at the University of New Mexico. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2005, he enlisted in the US Air Force and went on to complete the rigorous Pararescue (PJ) training pipeline. He deployed as the primary medic assigned to a Combat Search and Rescue Team, Joint Special Operations Task Force, and in support of C Company, 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After leaving the Air Force, Mike returned to Dartmouth to attend medical school while working as a critical care and flight paramedic with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART). Mike’s primary area of interest and research is cognitive and technical skills performance under stress. He believes we can leverage the experiences of various high-risk occupations as well as the powerful results of academic investigation in the field of human factors to enhance the quality of resuscitation.

Christopher Hicks, MD, FRCPC, MEd

Christopher Hicks is an emergency physician and trauma team leader at St. Michael’s, as well as a Clinician-Educator in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Hicks’ program of research focuses on resuscitation team performance, including psychological skills training (PST), design ergonomics and knowledge translation. He is the Director of the Simulation and Health Sciences for the Emergency Department (SHRED) fellowship program, a member of various trauma and education committees, and has been the recipient of numerous medical education and curriculum awards. Dr. Hicks is an avid speaker and has developed simulation-based PST curricula for emergency medicine (CREW) and trauma (TNT-2) that are firsts for post-graduate medical education in Canada and have been modeled internationally. Follow him on Twitter at @HumanFact0rz.