Here in the Department of Medicine the well-being of our residents is a top priority. We believe that resident wellness is so much more than therapy dogs and free food (although we love those, too!) We have a dedicated resident-run Wellness Committee , a Department- appointed Director of Wellness Initiatives, and a Wellness Chief Resident who are all part of hearing residents’ concerns and planning initiatives to help curb burnout.
Recently, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our wellness team has been working overtime to ensure that residents stay safe, healthy, and happy. Specifically, they have helped enact modified inpatient scheduling so that no resident stays on a COVID-heavy service for more than 2-3 consecutive weeks, this is in addition to arranging for donations of food, an espresso machine, mugs, and scrubs for residents.
Wellness will look different in the weeks and months to come due to continued social distancing, but we have plans in place to continue these great efforts.
Below are some more details about individual wellness initiatives within our residency program:
Wellness starts with our 4+2 block scheduling, which gives residents half of all their weekends off. This schedule is arranged in the traditional x+y residency format whereby “x” weeks represent inpatient or ICU time and “y” weeks represent dedicated ambulatory or elective. We all work half-days on Fridays during ambulatory blocks and have a free personal day during each elective block. Chief Residents check in with residents frequently and adjust schedules on an individual basis to ensure that residents are healthy and happy!
Conferences during Wellness Week focus on improving resident well-being by offering well-rounded talks and activities including laughing yoga, nutrition education, financial seminars, and more! Additionally, the Wellness Committee arranges for sponsored exercise classes at local fitness studios and (pre-social distancing) for resident get-togethers during Wellness Week.
Intern Stress Relief
These are monthly conferences focused solely on wellness activities to give interns a chance to enjoy some time together away from the stress of their team phones and the floors. Fancier lunches are provided and there is plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind with co-interns.
Some of our recent seasonal wellness events have included pumpkin painting, winter coffee happy hour with a Barista making specialty drinks, and summer scavenger hunts around campus.
This is an annual residency cooking competition held at Program Director Dr. Stewart’s house where residents compete to be crowned as JeffChef in three different categories. Faculty serve as judges for a wonderful evening of unwinding as a program and enjoying delicious food cooked by your co-residents.
Our residency program has a dedicated space within the hospital with a coffee machine, couches, TV, and computer work stations, which serves as home base for the residents. This is where sign-out occurs for floor teams, and serves as a place residents can always come when they want to talk to a friend or colleague (and can usually enjoy a snack courtesy of the many food donations coordinated by the Wellness Committee!)
Residents have access to resources through Jefferson’s Employee Assistance Program (FirstCall) and the Emotional Health & Wellness Program for House Staff, which includes free and reduced-price counseling and psychiatry services.
This is a program started by a group of residents to mirror a wellness initiative from Mayo Clinic. It involves convening at an attending host’s home over dinner and drinks for open discussion of topics like "What am I doing here...and at this hour?" or "I need help."
Recently, JeffRED has been occurring virtually with great success! If you’re curious, review the paper our own Dr. Kubey published about the sister program.
The Wellness Committee provides space for residents to discuss any concerns they have, and then works with residency leadership to implement changes in order to improve overall resident well-being. Additionally, there is an online suggestion box for residents to share their thoughts and ideas for program improvements.
Additional information is available through the following links: