Medical studies place high demands on the development of learning capacities. Learning environment, self-regulation, self-determination and self-care play a major role in this context. Impaired health of students in particular has a negative impact on learning and subsequent professional life. Learning life can be defined as the sum of all the factors influencing the students’ entire life; this includes physical, physiological, psychological and mental dimensions of learning. This study describes and evaluates a longitudinal learning workshop for undergraduate medical students which aims to foster academic learning life with an anthropologically grounded holistic approach.
Fifty evaluations by medical students underwent a qualitative analysis of open-ended questions concerning their experienced changes in their learning life. In addition, general satisfaction with the learning workshop was measured quantitatively.
Qualitative results revealed an impact on five core dimensions of medical students´ learning: knowledge, awareness, action, experience and regulation. Quantitative results demonstrated good overall satisfaction.
Taking students’ physiology, body, psychology and mentality into account within a seven weeks longitudinal learning workshop, impact on the fields of knowledge, awareness, action, experience and regulation can be achieved. To support the multidimensional learning life of medical students, a holistic approach could be considered as an enhancement to foster healthy, meaningful and efficient ways of learning. Thus, this learning workshop seems to be a useful and transferable tool to support medical students’ learning.