The General Surgery Residency Program of the UHS SoCal MEC is committed to creating a supportive learning environment and culture of wellness for residents that equips them with skills needed to support their own physical, mental, behavioral and spiritual health. Residency is challenging, but it should not be demeaning or disheartening, or result in physical or mental illness, behavioral disturbances or the development of maladaptive coping skills.
Our wellness initiatives include:
Enhancement of Peer and Social Support Networks
We recognize the important role peer and social support networks play in improving the learning and working environment of residents. Efforts to develop these relationships begin at orientation and continue throughout the three-year program. Time is devoted monthly to recognizing and celebrating birthdays and other personal achievements. Special events and dinners are planned for welcoming incoming residents and celebrating resident promotions.
Encouragement of Healthy Lifestyles
We encourage and support healthy lifestyles for our residents and faculty. Healthy lifestyles are a critical element in helping residents and faculty maintain life/work balance and prevent illness and burnout. These efforts begin at orientation with education on the signs and symptoms of burnout, and continue throughout the five-year program.
Promotion of Resilience
We promote resilience as a critical factor in the development of physicians who are resistant to burnout and better able to maintain and sustain their joy in medical practice. This is integrated longitudinally in the program through didactics, faculty interaction with residents during rotations, and quarterly faculty advisor meetings with residents. We strive to create a culture of continuous improvement, where obstacles and constructive feedback are received as opportunities to learn and grow. When faced with challenging circumstances, residents are reminded to focus on their personal character strengths to reaffirm their competency and support the growth of a positive mindset, hope and optimism. The creation of a supportive network among peers, faculty and program staff further promotes the development of resiliency.
Creation of Supportive Faculty Mentorship Program
All residents are assigned a faculty mentor at the beginning of residency. Faculty mentors are designed to be supportive “coaches” to their resident mentees. Some of their responsibilities include helping residents through challenging circumstances, providing educational guidance and supporting residents on scholarly activities. Faculty mentors are chosen for their professional and life experience and ability to model and mentor healthy life/work balance and continued joy and success in their practice of medicine. Through the faculty mentorship program, residents are guided through their residency and are able to learn and adopt skills from their mentor’s years of experience, equipping them for success in the future.