Bridges conference photo

What are Schwartz Rounds?

Schwartz Rounds provide a structured forum where students and staff from all health and social care professions can come together in a safe space to reflect on and discuss the emotional and social aspects of their work and training.
Schwartz Center Rounds began in the USA as a result of the experiences of Kenneth Schwartz after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer, when “small acts of kindness made the unbearable bearable”. Rather than solving problems or focusing on the clinical aspects of patient care, the purpose of Schwartz Rounds is to understand the challenges and rewards that are intrinsic to providing care.
Each Schwartz Round centres around a theme, which is explored from different perspectives by about 3-4 storytellers, who can be students and staff, who share experiences that connect to the theme. The Round is supported by two facilitators, specially trained by the Point of Care Foundation, who introduce and co-ordinate each Round, inviting attendees to share their thoughts and reflections on the stories. The Round lasts an hour.
Watch a demonstration of a Schwartz Round at St Joseph's Hospice or at Gloucester Royal Hospital supported by The Point of Care Foundation, or find out more about Schwartz Rounds in higher education institutes through this animation on Schwartz Rounds for students.
Further information on the benefits of Schwartz Rounds in higher education can be found on the Point of Care Foundation website.

Why is the University of Plymouth running Schwartz Rounds?

Research shows that acknowledging the emotional aspects of providing care for others is helpful when done in a supportive and safe environment. We believe that the experience of Schwartz Rounds will promote an attitude of reflective practice and help break down boundaries, setting the scene for future professional practice and lifelong learning.
'Small Schwartz Rounds’ have been running at the University of Plymouth since January 2017 with support from the Point of Care Foundation. Rounds are open to all staff and students within Faculty of Health as well as Speech and Language Therapy students and staff from Plymouth Marjon University.
Since the pandemic, Schwartz Rounds at the University of Plymouth have been taking place online. Not only has Zoom made the Rounds more readily accessible to our geographically dispersed attendees, online Rounds have led to an increased sense of confidence in joining Rounds without impeding the experience of sharing or the emotional impact. To ensure Rounds are a confidential space, the Zoom link is only shared via internal email, recording is prohibited and, once a Round starts, it is locked so no further participants can join.
If you would like to share your story, contact us at to talk about getting involved as a panellist.

Attending Rounds

Rounds are open to:
  • Both students and staff
  • Everyone involved in health and social care
  • Any profession or programme that may share a common interest in exploring the emotional and psycho-social aspects of working with people
Booking is not required, simply join by clicking on the link circulated via email in advance of each Round from To protect confidentiality, Rounds are locked shortly after the start time so no further attendees can join.
You are welcome to volunteer as a panellist or to simply come and share the experience as part of the audience.

Rounds in academic year 2023/24

Schwartz Rounds at the University of Plymouth take place online via Zoom from 13:00 – 14:30. A link is circulated in advance to all Faculty of Health students and staff via internal email.
  • Wednesday 4 October. Theme: Uncomfortable Conversations
  • Wednesday 29 November. Theme: The Challenges and Joys of Interprofessional Working
  • Wednesday 24 January. Theme: Heroes or Villains?
  • Wednesday 6 March. Theme: Raising Concerns
  • Wednesday 5 June. Theme: Somebody I'll Never Forget
If you are interested in sharing a story or experience related to one of these themes, please contact or one of the key contacts for Schwartz Rounds.
You can contact the Schwartz Rounds team at Rounds at the University of Plymouth are sometimes supported by external facilitators based in local Trusts.

I really valued the openness and honesty of Schwartz panellists when sharing their stories.

…It was powerful, heartfelt, and helps break through boundaries and barriers.

I wasn’t expecting to benefit as much as I did…I will return to my placement with more confidence that my feelings are normal and I’m not a fraud.

I hope initiatives like the Schwartz Rounds can eventually improve interprofessional relationships, help us all to understand each other better and find comfort in relating to each other’s experiences.

This is such a fantastic platform for students to get an insight into the workplace and empower them to be the best professionals that they can be, whilst also learning and accepting that mistakes are OK, it is how we go forward from that.

I really do feel that it is a safe place, even virtually and there is no judgement. It felt real and that is what we need when we're reflecting. This was from the heart and I found it very beneficial.

It ran so smoothly and the whole format on Zoom with the chat, and the option for those watching to mute/unmute to share their stories worked so well.

It was liberating to hear that regardless of our professional background we are all not alone, we all go through similar struggles.


Schwartz Rounds outside the University of Plymouth

You are also encouraged to attend Schwartz Rounds which run in many of our local Trusts, including:
  • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Northern
  • Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Eastern
  • South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (Taunton and Yeovil)
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Publications and Conference Papers

Our University of Plymouth Schwartz Rounds were the subject of student clinical psychologist Dominique Clancy's PhD.
Clancy, D., Mitchell, A. and Smart, C. (2019). A qualitative exploration of the experiences of students attending interprofessional Schwartz Rounds in a University context. Journal of Interprofessional Care, pp.1–10.
Fisher, M. (2020) Promoting Compassion through Schwartz Center Rounds in a University Setting. Compassion in Healthcare Education Inaugural Conference, December 2020.