What are Schwartz Rounds?

Schwartz Rounds are hour-long sessions where students come together to listen to stories and share reflections in a supportive and confidential environment. Open to all health-science students across multiple disciplines, Schwartz Rounds are a chance to reflect on the emotional aspects of clinical practice.

Whatever your professional discipline, Schwartz Rounds can help you and others connect through experiences. Schwartz Rounds have been implemented in clinical practice and universities to support healthcare professionals and students working in complex settings.


What happens at Schwartz Rounds?

Schwartz Rounds (sometimes shortened to “Rounds”) are a safe space to hear stories and reflect in a 1-hour forum. The Round is shaped by trained facilitators, who guide and support both storytellers and audience. After a brief introduction, storytellers share their stories for around five minutes on a theme. Attendees are then invited to share their reflections on the stories they have just heard. After the Round, we ask attendees to evaluate their experience.


What are themes, and who are the storytellers?

We group stories together to share at themed Rounds. A range of themes are offered throughout the year, and may include titles such as “the patient I’ll never forget”, “I took a risk”, “flying the nest” or “a day in the life of…”.
Sometimes the stories will be linked by the theme, and sometimes one story will be shared from different perspectives. The storytellers may include students, healthcare colleagues from practice, lecturers and graduates.

What do our students say about Schwartz Rounds?

What else do I need to know?

At the in-person Rounds, food and drinks are available as we collect together before the Round begins. Sometimes, Rounds may be held online using Teams. A variety of times and days are offered, so there is hopefully a Round that you can attend. Our panels of storytellers may include colleagues from clinical practice, students, recent graduates, and lecturers from our courses. All students and recent graduates from our health sciences courses are warmly invited to attend.

On placements or once registered and working, you may be interested to attend Schwartz Rounds if they are provided by the organisation.

You can watch an introductory video from the Point of Care Foundation to find out more: Schwartz Rounds for students


Where do Schwartz Rounds come from?

Schwartz Rounds were first developed by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in the USA, which was created by a person named Ken Schwartz shortly before his death in 1995. Ken had lung cancer, and during his period of ill health, he noticed that the  “acts of kindness – the simple human touch from my caregivers – have made the unbearable bearable”. He created the Schwartz Centre to nurture compassion in healthcare and support relationships between care-givers and patients. An initial pilot and evaluation by The King’s Fund led to the adoption of Rounds in clinical settings across the UK, supported by the Point of Care Foundation. Recently, the benefits of attending Schwartz Rounds for healthcare students are being observed in universities.


Who else is involved in Schwartz Rounds?

Schwartz Rounds are supported by the Point of Care Foundation in the UK, and our facilitators have all participated in the training programme. We are part of the ‘Schwartz South’ research project, which is led by the University of Surrey; this means that the evaluations from our Rounds contribute to the ongoing research into understanding how Schwartz Rounds can benefit students.


Schwartz South logo University of Brighton logo with star  univserity of surrey logo