At Capital Health, we are committed to enhancing resident well-being, combating burnout, and finding meaning in medicine. It has been noted nationally that the pressure of providing clinical care escalates physician burnout and depression. The daily demands of learning and caring for patients often leaves medical professionals struggling to find meaning in their work. The Capital Health Internal Medicine Residency Program has found that when residents are woven into the fabric of our community, it promotes compassion and joy in the practice of medicine.
Our Resident Well-Being Committee is comprised of interested and enthusiastic residents from each class who volunteer to plan group activities, including residents’ families and significant others. Our Community Outreach Curriculum addresses disease prevention, the determinants of disease in our population, and the influence of the environment on health and disease.
To support resident 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 on-line and live resources.
Delaram Moazami MD, Director of Ambulatory Clinics & Core Faculty, has taken the lead in addressing resident well-being. She began the well-being curriculum in 2013 and some of the components include:
- Resident Well-Being Series: this is a combination of didactic sessions and interactive group activities designed to bring resident well-being to the forefront and give residents a safe environment to discuss issues.
- Topics include nutrition for residents, recognizing and mitigating fatigue, social media, job satisfaction, managing difficult patients, and conflict resolution.
- Self-assessment tools for self-reflection on burnout and identification of depression.
- Quarterly class meetings that give each class the opportunity to discuss the important topics related to their level of training and share their experiences.
- Well-being conversations and goals included in monthly resident/faculty advisor meetings.
- Group activities organized to bring residents together in a stress-free environment, enhance teamwork and communication, and promote social well-being. Along with holiday parties and resident picnics, program activities such as “The Lego Challenge”, which puts teams of two residents back to back to recreate an object by description only, develop their communication skills and teamwork.
To promote joy in the practice of medicine, our residents give back to our community in many ways, such as:
- Flu Festivals: The Capital Flu Team–residents along with the program director and pharmacy interns and students–provided flu vaccines and gift bags of daily necessities at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and at a local community center. Participants were given documentation of their flu vaccine for their community health provider.
- Mercer County Heart Walk: The Heart Walk Team collected donations and walked to promote heart health awareness.
- Coat drives and turkey distributions, all of which help residents support the community they serve.
The Program continues to expand activities to enhance the well-being of our residents, providing an outlet for decreasing stress, caring for our community, team building, and having FUN!