63. Developing a program for resident wellness at the postgraduate medical education office, University of Torontos

S. Edwards, S. Verma, R. Zulla

Abstract


Prevalence of stress-related mental health problems in residents is equal to, or greater than, the general population. Medical training has been identified as the most significant negative influence on resident mental health. At the same time, residents possess inadequate stress management and general wellness skills and poor help-seeking behaviours. Unique barriers prevent residents from self-identifying and seeking assistance. Stress management programs in medical education have been shown to decrease subjective distress and increase wellness and coping skills.
The University of Toronto operates the largest postgraduate medical training program in the country. The Director of Resident Wellness position was created in the Postgraduate Medical Education Office to develop a systemic approach to resident wellness that facilitates early detection and intervention of significant stress related problems and promote professionalism.
Phase One of this new initiative has been to highlight its presence to residents and program directors by speaking to resident wellness issues at educational events. Resources on stress management, professional services, mental health, and financial management have been identified and posted on the postgraduate medical education website and circulated to program directors. Partnerships have been established with physician health professionals, the University of Toronto, and the Professional Association of Residents and Internes of Ontario. Research opportunities for determining prevalence and effective management strategies for stress related problems are being identified and ultimately programs/resources will be implemented to ensure that resident have readily accessible resources.
The establishment of a Resident Wellness Strategy from its embryonic stags and the challenges faced are presented as a template for implementing similar programs at other medical schools.
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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25011/cim.v30i4.2824

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