At Capital Health, our Internal Medicine Residency Program is committed to addressing our trainees’ well-being. It has been noted nationally that the pressure of providing clinical care continues to escalate physician burnout and depression. The pace and intensity of residency training often leads to little time with family and significant others, an overwhelming sense of responsibility, social isolation, stress from experiencing pain, death and dying and the feeling that there is never enough time left to read and study.
Our program creates a learning environment that is supportive of trainees and recognizes and addresses these issues. For the past several years, physician well-being has been a focus of the ACGME. In 2014, the ACGME Board of Directors formed a planning committee to address issues related to physician well-being, and in November 2015, the ACGME hosted the first National Symposium on Physician Well-Being.
Capital Health’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Carebridge, is a benefit provided to all residents at no cost. Carebridge provides assistance with work-life, life management and wellness issues through a variety of online and live resources.
As part of our Internal Medicine Residency Program, Dr. Delaram Moazami, core faculty and director of Ambulatory Clinics at Capital Health, has assumed the lead role of addressing resident wellness. She began the Wellness Curriculum in 2013 and some of the components include:
- Monthly Resident Well-Being Series at Noon Conference – This is a combination of didactic sessions and interactive group activities designed to bring resident wellness to the forefront and give residents a safe environment to discuss wellness issues.
- Topics include nutrition for residents, recognizing and mitigating fatigue, social media, job satisfaction, managing difficult patients and conflict resolution.
- We administer the Maslach Burnout Inventory and provide individual results to each resident.
- Each year, we view and discuss the video “Struggling in Silence: Physician Depression and Suicide” from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
- We host interactive group activities such as the Value Auction Game and Reflections on Thankfulness.
- Quarterly class meetings where each class has the opportunity to discuss the important topics related to their level of training and share their experiences.
- Wellness conversations and goals included in monthly Resident/Faculty Advisor Meetings.
Dr. Moazami’s poster “Work Life Balance in Residency, How to Make it Possible” was presented at the National SGIM Conference in 2015. Since that time, our Internal Medicine Residency Program continues to develop the Wellness Curriculum. A Wellness Committee has been established. Interested residents from each class volunteer to plan wellness activities, including residents’ families and significant others.
Some of the activities to date include:
Our program continues to expand activities to enhance the well-being of our residents, provide an outlet to address stress, team-building, and having fun!