Skip to Content
Learn what the PACT Act means for your VA benefits

Whole Health Training

The Whole Health training experience at VA Boston is designed to provide residents and students with a foundation in the discipline of Whole Health and the tools to enhance their ability to provide preventative care to patients. Specific learning objectives and descriptions of topic areas will be provided for each subsection of the rotation in this binder. More general learning objectives of the rotation are provided below.

Welcome to the VA Boston Whole Health training site!  This rotation is offered to physician assistant students and medical residents at VA Boston Healthcare.  The curricular materials below provide learning objectives and content outlines for a range of topics related to Whole Health.  In addition to further developing the content of the training program, we are in the process of refining several measures to evaluate the program in order to demonstrate that trainees are learning the essential knowledge and skills that the curriculum was designed to cover, and gaining confidence in their ability to apply the new knowledge/skills in practice .  These measures are not yet validated and are currently used solely for the purpose of internal quality improvement at VA Boston.  There will be periodic updates to the curriculum content as well as the program evaluation measures, so we encourage viewers to check back regularly.  We welcome your input and encourage you to contact:

Edward Phillips MD

Chief of Whole Health

VA Boston health care

Phone: 617-967-2454


Susan McGlynn Ph.D., ABPP

Neuropsychologist, Polytrauma Network Site

VA Boston health care

Phone: 857-364-4248


Whole health general learning objectives

  • Summarize how Whole Health can be practiced in a variety of clinical settings
  • Demonstrate a foundational knowledge of whole health assessment and counseling procedures to address various lifestyle factors, including physical activity, nutrition, stress management, and other health related domains
  • Assess the role of behavior in overall health and become familiar with patient-centered counseling strategies and wellness coaching to facilitate change
  • Describe how to improve personal health behaviors and identify the connection of self-care to clinical practice

Required activities

  • Direct observation of patient care in clinical settings, including sites throughout the VA Healthcare System
  • Small group didactic sessions
  • Self-directed readings, case studies, and videos
  • Personal Health Behavior Change Project:  you will select a particular area of health to change/improve, set personal goals, and monitor your behavior across the rotation
  • Research a topic of interest related to Whole Health and present an evidence based summary of the topic supplemented by your rotation experience in a 10-min PowerPoint talk

Note:  Participants must attend 80% of all activities and meet all core requirements (see performance evaluation section below) in order to document completion of the rotation.

Performance evaluation

Participants’ knowledge/skill in Whole Health gained during the required activities of this rotation will be evaluated by:

  • Pre/Post multiple choice test of knowledge related to Whole Health
  • Pre/Post treatment approach for two clinical case vignettes
  • Pre/Post self-efficacy questionnaire

Handouts and Test Materials

Syllabus Materials