No matter where you do training, being a resident is hard! At Memorial, we train residents to do hard things. We believe that wellness and doing hard things can co-existent. We recognize that physician wellness and building resiliency is one of our core obligations to our residents. Arming our residents with the tools to live fulfilling lives as residents and for their future practice as physicians is one of our top priorities. To this end, we have a Wellness Committee that is resident driven with robust faculty support. Our wellness efforts change annually to reflect the needs of our current residents. Our wellness efforts include some of the following:
- Education: We have a quarterly noon conference series to specifically address wellness, burnout, resiliency, and other topics from the lens of a resident physician. Additionally, based on resident feedback, we also instituted a quarterly, resident driven noon conference where they are able to connect as a group and reflect on their time in residency.
- Wellness Half Days: Our residents have protected time each month to spend dedicated to their wellness. These days are free, protected from clinical responsibilities, and serve as an opportunity for each resident to fill their cups so they can be more restored when caring for others.
- Opt out counseling: We offer free and confidential quarterly hour long sessions for residents. These are typically scheduled in the resident’s wellness half day. As the name suggests, residents can “opt out” of the session without any repercussions but we hope that normalizing this can help residents to better utilize these services when they are struggling and either decompress some of the difficult moments of their lives or build up their toolkit of wellness skills.
- Mentorship: We build in mentorship in our unique team leader relationships. Additionally, our faculty-to-resident ratio lends to increased access for the residents when seeking other mentorship relationships.
- Retreats: Each PGY year has a retreat. Additionally, our faculty group cover the residents for a 24-hour period for them to have an annual “all resident retreat.”
- Safe spaces: We converted an office into a “relaxation room” to allow space for residents and staff to close the door if they need time to themselves. This room is equipped with essential oils, a foam roller, Bluetooth speaker, full spectrum light, water feature, and massage chair.
- Workout facilities: With workout facilities in the clinic space as well as at the hospital, residents can utilize free time to get exercise with less barriers. All residents also receive a free membership to Beacon Health and Fitness, which includes four state of the art facilities in South Bend, Granger, Elkhart, and Three Rivers at no cost to them.
- Biannual needs assessment: As we know each resident cohort will have differing needs, we have developed an internal survey that helps to assess what our residents want in regards to wellness. It also helps us to measure baseline and seasonal burnout scores so we can be attuned to differing needs based on season.
- Community: We have multiple events that rotate and change throughout the year to help build community and support amongst the residents, faculty, significant other group, and staff members. Additionally, the program purchases tickets each year for residents to enjoy the South Bend Community and have included tickets to the Morris Performing Arts Center, Notre Dame Hockey, and Notre Dame Women’s Basketball.
- Open Agenda: Each PGY year has time blocked to openly and privately discuss issues related to some of the difficulties or joys of residency. This is facilitated by our Behavioral Medicine Director.
- Beacon Wellness Resources: In addition to our efforts at the residency, our larger system, Beacon Health System, also has a robust Wellness Council. Residents can utilize resources through our larger system including Peer Support Dinners, Physician Coaching, and formal mentorship.
Resources: We have found the following resources to be helpful for our physicians when they are struggling. Burnout, depression, anxiety, and other struggles can be incredibly personal but are also incredibly common. We hope that in addition to these resources, if you are experiencing any of these that you reach out to your faculty and/or co-residents.
- AAFP Physician Health First
- AAFP Resident Resources (log in required)
- Beacon LiGHT (log in required)
- Beacon Health & Fitness
- Employee Assistance Program
- Services include counseling sessions, daily life assistance including resources for child care, home repair, and special needs, legal services, and financial services.
- For current residents: access Employee Assistance Program EAP on Beacon Intranet