Recent data from nationally-representative studies on resident well-being indicate that burnout is extremely common in this population. Internship, residency, and fellowship training may involve long hours and challenging work, often during a time of increasing responsibility at home.
The UFCOM Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) is working with program directors toward continuous improvement in the training environment. Recognizing that healthy physicians are able to learn more effectively and provide better care, we are committed to the development of a workplace that promotes well-being and professional fulfillment. The GME Institutional Wellness Committee was established in 2018 to support these efforts. Examples of institution-wide and program specific initiatives designed to promote well-being among residents and fellows are highlighted below:
“The mission of the Graduate Medical Education Wellness Committee is to identify and encourage the development of and promote access to the array of institutional and program resources that support the professional and personal well-being of housestaff and faculty.”
Culture of Wellness
- The GME Institutional Wellness Committee is completing a needs assessment of residents and program directors in order to identify areas to target for improvement.
- Most residency and fellowship programs have a Resident Wellness Committee that is dedicated to supporting well-being for house staff within their program.
- Most programs sponsor social activities for house staff to promote collegiality and well-being.
- Residency/Fellowship programs include didactic presentations on physician wellness.
- In order to support house staff who are nursing/pumping, the health science center and off-site clinics offer a number of lactation spaces that are open throughout the day: https://gme.med.ufl.edu/housestaff-affairs/lactation-space/
- Many programs offer free food, snacks, and/or drinks to house staff on various occasions.
- Resident lounges are available at UF Health Shands hospital, as well as other clinical sites, with free snacks and beverages available 24/7.
- A recently-renovated on-site gym for residents is located near the Resident Lounge and GME Office in the UF Health Shands Hospital.
- Comprehensive leave policy for sick leave, vacation, and parental leave to encourage healthy physicians and families:
- On-site day care is available, providing a convenience resource for residents and fellows with children: https://babygator.ufl.edu/
- Free access to caregiver referral service for childcare, eldercare, housekeeping services offered by Care.com: https://facultyaffairs.med.ufl.edu/benefits/care-com/
- UF offers job placement assistance for “trailing spouses” who relocate to Gainesville to accompany physicians completing a residency or fellowship with UFCOM: https://jobs.ufl.edu/applicant-resources/dual-career/
- Access to discounts on food/entertainment/services through the GatorPerks program: https://benefits.hr.ufl.edu/gatorperks/discount-program/
On-Site Gym for House Staff in UF Health Shands Hospital
Efficiency of Practice/Learning
- A comprehensive resident orientation process helps residents transition to their new role and responsibilities.
- Residents and fellows have access to on-site call rooms and sleep facilities to make on-call service more comfortable and minimize risk of fatigue: https://gme.med.ufl.edu/contact-us/call-rooms/
- House staff can access electronic medical record systems from home, providing more flexibility in their work schedules.
- SPOK messaging software allowing cell phone-based paging and messaging that is HIPAA compliant.
- Use of smart-phrases in the electronic medical record to improve efficiency of clinical documentation.
- Access to Dragon dictation software to facilitate note and report writing.
- Videoconferencing software is available in several locations to allow residents in off-site clinical settings to attend/participate in Grand Rounds and other didactics remotely.
- The UF Health Science Center librarians offer free literature searches conducted by librarians to assist residents and fellows with literature reviews for grants, articles, or other scholarly endeavors: https://library.health.ufl.edu/help/literature-search/
- Extensive Interlibrary Loan Services are available to help residents and fellows access hard-to-locate references for their scholarly work: http://cms.uflib.ufl.edu/accesssupport/InterlibraryLoan
- Access to funding for open-access publication of articles, in order to increase dissemination of scholarly work conducted by UFCOM community : https://cms.uflib.ufl.edu/ScholComm/UFOAPF
- The Public Speaking Lab offers assistance to residents and fellows seeking to develop effective speaking skills. The speech lab is a free service and provides an opportunity for individuals to brush up on this critical communication skill: https://cwoc.ufl.edu/programs/public-speaking-lab/about-the-public-speaking-lab/
- Individual residency and fellowship programs utilize a variety of strategies to increase practice efficiency, including:
- Interns are paired with an upper-level resident buddy to assist their transition and help them “learn the ropes.”
- Trainees are assigned an individual faculty mentor.
- Use of standard electronic medical record templates to simplify note writing in inpatient and outpatient settings.
- Residents (and their spouses) have access to 6 free counseling sessions per academic year through the UF Employee Assistance Program: http://eap.ufl.edu/
- Residents in need of same day medical care can access primary care services on site: https://gme.med.ufl.edu/housestaff-affairs/uf-gator-advantage/
- Preferred scheduling of medical appointments through GatorAdvantage program: https://gme.med.ufl.edu/contact-us/insurance-benefits-health-life-disability-etc/uf-gator-advantage/
- Optional 8-week “Mind-Body Medicine” course for residents to be offered (*application required*)
- Wellness resources for residents and fellows are available from the ACGME at: http://www.acgme.org/What-We-Do/Initiatives/Physician-Well-Being/Resources
- All residents and fellows in Florida who are struggling with a potentially-impairing condition have access to the resources offered by the Professionals Resource Network, Inc., which provides advocacy and monitoring services to help licensed health care professionals succeed in their path to recovery: http://www.flprn.org/
- The UFCOM, UF Health, the University of Florida, and Alachua County/Gainesville have a huge variety of wellness-related resources available for residents and fellows. Check out the Resources Hub here: https://wellness.med.ufl.edu/resources/
Access to 24/7 Crisis Services offered through U Matter We Care program: https://counseling.ufl.edu/services/crisis/