The Pulmonary Disease Fellowship Program of the UHS SoCal MEC is committed to creating a supportive learning environment and culture of wellness for fellows that equips them with skills needed to support their own physical, mental, behavioral and spiritual health. Fellowship 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 fellows. Efforts to develop these relationships begin at orientation and continue throughout the two-year program. Time is devoted monthly to recognizing and celebrating birthdays and other personal achievements. Special events and dinners are planned for welcoming incoming fellows and celebrating fellow promotions.
Encouragement of Healthy Lifestyles
We encourage and support healthy lifestyles for our fellows and faculty. Healthy lifestyles are a critical element in helping fellows 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 two-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 fellows during rotations, and quarterly faculty advisor meetings with fellows. 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, fellows 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 fellows are assigned a faculty mentor at the beginning of fellowship. Faculty mentors are designed to be supportive “coaches” to their fellow mentees. Some of their responsibilities include helping fellows through challenging circumstances, providing educational guidance and supporting fellows 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, fellows are guided through their fellowship and are able to learn and adopt skills from their mentor’s years of experience, equipping them for success in the future.