Our residents and faculty have developed a wellness curriculum to face the unique challenges involved in emergency medicine training. We have aimed to substantiate wellness by incorporating it into regular and dedicated conference time. Our wellness activities focus on service, resiliency, and career development, and will continue to grow with creative ideas to support and empower residents.
In 2018 we officially started our departmental Wellness Committee with both residents and faculty members. We understood the importance of resident input and feedback into their own wellness. Who else would know what residents need, in terms of wellness, other than residents themselves? Our Wellness Committee continues to expand and actively plans activities and curriculum for the year. This year we added a 4th elected chief resident position specifically dedicated to wellness!
In August of 2018, we had our first service day at Jewish Vocational Services where we assembled furniture for incoming refugee families. Our second, in May 2019, was at The Kansas City Assessment and Triage Center, a local mental health crisis center. We held conference there, revamping their courtyard with new flowers, vegetables, and picnic tables. While giving back to our community we reflected on the social adversity of our patients and became familiar with a disposition resource available to us in the ER. On service days this year we volunteered at a local shelter and an animal rescue that both serve our community.
We continue to host wellness days that offer guest speakers, field trips, community service projects, book clubs, career information, and financial education; all ideas from residents wanting to better our program. The Wellness Committee manages department awards, shout-outs, “Saves of the Month” and miscellaneous gifts in efforts to recognize those who go above and beyond. Ultimately, we aim to sustain a positive, open environment for all residents to feel welcome and fulfilled.
Attempting to keep our faculty and residents well during the COVID-19 pandemic has been both fulfilling and a challenge. We strive to instill the importance of mindfulness and healthy habits by incorporating and practicing mindfulness, good sleep hygiene, and exercise into daily life. During our lockdown period we utilized zoom conferencing for many of our wellness days. One of our very talented residents hosted a cooking class via zoom which was a universal hit! During warm weather conferences we took advantage of the weather by taking residents to a local lake for kayaking, paddle boarding, and some water side yoga.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic our program also understands the other pandemic that is happening simultaneously, the physician burnout pandemic. Study after study shows the importance of institutions placing a value on the well-being of their providers. Our department leadership understands the importance as well; providing financial and logistical support.
- Intern Welcome Week
- Service Days (spring and summer)
- Career Workshop
- Resiliency Day
- Post In-Training Exam Festivity
- Book Club
- Healthy habits
- Mindfulness and Exercise
- Miscellaneous outings, consultant mixers, gift giving, awards