Resident Well-Being: A Guide for Residency Programs

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Resident Well-Being: A Guide for Residency Programs

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Resident Well-Being: A Guide for Residency Programs

Alicia M. Pilarski, DO 
Jill Simonson, BA, C-TAGME 
Larisa Coldebella, MD 
Nancy Jacobson, MD 
Loice Swisher, MD, FAAEM
Nicole Lopez, MD
Angelo Perino Jr., MD

For many new physicians, residency can cause fatigue and stress, which can affect their ability to take care of themselves and their patients. Recently, the ACGME added a Well-Being section to its Common Program Requirements. This topic, although not a new one, has not been addressed because of the stigma attached to it.

Resident Well-Being is a tool for residency program directors, coordinators, and faculty to teach residents to pay more attention to their self-care and understand how their wellness influences the care they give their patients. This resource will specifically address how to help residents with burnout, depression, stress, and work-life balance. Training tools are included, as well as case studies and examples from various programs about the tools they have implemented for resident wellness.

This book will help you:

  • Assess your program for resident wellness 
  • Identify signs of burnout and depression in residents 
  • Create a safe working and social environment for residents to excel 

About the Authors 

Alicia M. Pilarski, DO, is an associate professor and clinical faculty in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW)/Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. She completed medical school at Touro University in California and her emergency medicine residency training at University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas. Pilarski was involved with wellness and resilience during residency as chief resident and founded the MCW Emergency Medicine Wellness Committee in 2011. Since that time, the committee has been involved in wellness initiatives, building resiliency among residents, and engaging in community outreach; it continues to expand each year to encompass more institutionwide changes that affect provider well-being. Pilarski is a member of the Council of Residency Directors and is involved in its resiliency committee. She also is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and is a part of its wellness committee.

Jill Simonson, BA, C-TAGME, has been employed by MCW for over 17 years and is currently the education program manager in the department of emergency medicine. She graduated from Alverno College with an academic focus in business and management along with computer science. She previously served on the Housestaff Health and Welfare Committee and was a member of the graduate medical education committee and the MCWAH Program Coordinator Event Planning Committee. On a national level, she is a member of the Emergency Medicine Association of Residency Coordinators and has served as a member-at-large and secretary. Simonson has written eight abstracts and presented at Surgical Education Week, the ACGME Annual Conference, and the Surgical & Surgical Specialties Residency Program Administrators/Coordinators Workshop. Additionally, she has one publication on MedEdPORTAL. 

Book Contributors

Larisa Coldebella, MD, completed her undergraduate studies at North Park University in Chicago, where she majored in physics. She completed medical school at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine in Peoria, where she developed a love for emergency medicine and teaching. She completed her emergency medicine residency at MCW, during which she served as her program’s resident education chief and became involved in her program’s wellness committee, as well as the hospitalwide Housestaff Health and Welfare Committee. She recently accepted a faculty position at Greenville Health System in Greenville, South Carolina. Her professional interests are wellness, specifically work-life balance, burnout, resilience, and suicide prevention and awareness, as well as board review curriculum development. She now serves on AAEM’s Wellness Committee and the CORD Mental Health Task Force.

Nancy Jacobson, MD, completed her residency training at MCW, and began her role as assistant professor of emergency medicine and faculty co-chair to the Emergency Medicine Wellness Committee in August 2017. She completed medical school at MCW in 2014 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with majors in biology and honors English. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, where she now lives with her husband and daughter.

Loice Swisher, MD, FAAEM, has been a nocturnist for two decades at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, an inner-city community hospital associated with the Drexel Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Her plans for an academic career were radically altered when her daughter developed a malignant brain tumor and the resection surgery neurologically devastated her child. Since that life-changing event, resilience has become a personal and professional passion. Swisher participates in residency, institutional, regional, and national resilience committees. She is chair of the Mental Health Task Force for the Resilience Committee for CORD and a member of the AAEM Wellness & Burnout Committee. In addition, she is a professional member of the American Association of Suicidology, with the goal of promoting an environment in which zero suicides in medicine can become a reality. 

Nicole Lopez, MD, is an emergency medicine resident at MCW/Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. She completed medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine where she graduated with honors. During medical school, she was actively involved in the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, serving as president from 2012 to 2013; and in teaching, serving as an anatomy tutor as well as a small group leader for the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. She has been a member of the MCW Wellness Committee for the past two years and is serving as co-chair in her final year of residency. She has partnered with her fellow residents to establish a weekly resident newsletter and co-writes the weekly wellness column. 

Angelo Perino Jr., MD, is a physician and professor of emergency medicine at Greenville (South Carolina) Health System. Perino was born in the northern suburbs of Chicago and grew up in Gurnee, Illinois. He attended high school at St. Bede Academy, and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in science preprofessional studies. The following year he attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Upon graduating he joined the Medical College of (Milwaukee) Wisconsin Emergency Medicine residency program.

Published: 10/30/2017

Page count: 164
Dimensions: 8.5” X 11” 
ISBN: 978-1-68308-604-8 

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Understanding the Importance of Wellness for The Trainee
    • What Is Wellness?
    • The Seven Domains of Wellness
  • Chapter 2: Assessing and Addressing Your Residency Program’s Culture of Well-Being
    • New ACGME Common Program Requirements Related to Well-Being
    • Establishing a Wellness Program/Committee Within Your Residency 
    • Measuring the Prevalence of Burnout Among Your Residents
    • Implementing Targeted Interventions
    • Evaluation of Reassessment of Your Wellness Program 
  • Chapter 3: Keeping the Mind Well During Residency
    • Supporting Your Residents’ Intellectual Well-Being 
    • Incorporating Mindfulness Training Into Your Program 
    • Suggested Ideas and Techniques to Support Emotional Well-Being 
  • Chapter 4: Improving Occupational and Environmental Wellness
    • Occupational Resources
    • Creating an Institutional Culture of Wellness: Improving Your Environment
    • Curriculum Design to Improve Wellness
  • Chapter 5: Improving Physical Well-Being for Residents
    • Physical Fitness
    • Nutrition, Sleep, and Fatigue Management
    • Overall Health Maintenance
    • Evaluating Residents’ Physical Wellness 
  • Chapter 6: Social Wellness and Your Program 
    • Building a Social/Family Team 
    • Creating a Sense of Community
    • Faculty Relations
    • Social Events
    • Retreats
    • Community Outreach
  • Chapter 7: When Burnout Strikes
    • Risk Factors That Contribute to Burnout
    • Combating Resident Burnout
    • Managing a Resident With Burnout
  • Chapter 8: Suicide and Depression in Residents 
    • ACGME Well-Being Common Core Requirements 
    • Suicidal Ideation and Depression
    • Onboarding Residents 
    • Which Residents Are at Risk?
    • Prophylaxis
    • Identification 
    • Self-Screening
    • Transparency
    • Access to Care
    • Leaving Residency
    • Postvention 
  • Chapter 9: Substance Use