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The LIFE Curriculum

Welcome to  The LIFE Curriculum Word Press Site.

The LIFE Curriculum was created in 2003 to develop teaching materials relating to fatigue, depression, burnout and other challenging resident situations, and disseminate them broadly.

The curriculum was supported, in part, by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.


The curriculum is organized around twelve case -based “prototypical” scenarios.  A variety of national experts contributed materials which provide practical approaches to preventing, identifying early, and managing these situations.

The curriculum includes two “Teachers Guides,” each of which contains 4-8 topics.


  • Fatigue
  • Stress and Depression
  • Substance Abuse
  • Disruptive Behavior
  • Burnout
  • Boundary Violations
  • Impairment
  • Instructive Feedback


  • Legal Issues
  • “Generations” (and generational issues) in Health Care
  • Recruiting the Right Applicants
  • Staying in the Program Director Role

The authors generously gifted the use of any of these materials to program directors, faculty and residents to use in their own education.

Unfortunately our servers which hosted the external site were drowned in a Hurricane Sandy many years ago. However the two Teacher’s Guides (which contain the content)  can be downloaded at https://sites.duke.edu/thelifecurriculum/2014/05/08/the-life-curriculum/

Thanks to Brendan A Bradley who put the CD ROMs on you tube (we would have done it initially if YouTube had existed at that time.





No charge for this.  No more CD ROMs and at this point, doubt there are many computers left who could “read” this medium.



  1. These videos are to the point, but unfortunately residency is mostly a hazing process to “toughen up” physicians with a little bit of training.

    Even the command to watch these videos just took an hour and 20 minutes away from personal time, because every compliance demand placed on a residency program (like watching these videos) just makes another task without assigned time to do it. No one gets residency time to perform compliance tasks, it is all upon the resident to lose personal time/ study time to meet these demands. And this time is not supposed to count as Duty Hours.

    • Dear Dr Gannon
      I hope we can indeed change residency to add more learning and much less hazing. These videos were in response to programs believing these topics important but not always having their own expertise to help develop the content. Many programs have chosen to use these videos (and content) as part of their program’s didactic curriculum with residents nad faculty together. They have used them as a means to generate discussion–not adding time as a solo activity. I am sorry they just added extra burden to you. I hope you can discuss your experiences with your program leadership so they can learn from your experience. I believe the learning residents do in providing care to patients is critically important. Most of our systems can continue to improve on how we take care of the caregivers and the patients!

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