Medical Resident Wellness

How resident physicians can assess and plan to boost well-being

Brendan Murphy , Senior News Writer

For busy resident physicians, wellness is vital. Finding and maintaining wellness is an active process and one that requires some work from both the health systems and trainees.

Physician burnout demands urgent action

The AMA is leading the national effort to solve the growing physician burnout crisis. We're working to eliminate the dysfunction in health care by removing the obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care.

Residents can glean insights from a course—"Using Tools to Form an Action Plan for Wellness"—offered through the AMA GME Competency Education Program. It's one of the program's offerings, which include nearly 30 courses that residents training within subscribed institutions can access online, on their own schedule.

Among the experts authoring courses are several who contributed to the AMA's Health Systems Science textbook, which draws insights from faculty at medical schools that are part of the Association's Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.

On an individual level, an honest assessment of where your personal wellness stands is requisite to making plans to address it. The course asks residents key questions about personal habits to examine individual wellness. The list includes questions such as how many hours are you sleeping? How often do you take vacations? And are you keeping a nutritious diet?

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Upon assessing where you stand, there may be areas in which you can improve upon the six pillars of resident wellness—emotional well-being, spiritual well-being, physical well-being, social well-being, financial well-being and intellectual well-being.

If you are falling short of personal wellness in any of the six areas mentioned above the module comes with a worksheet that offers residents the chance to identify and implement strategies to create increased balance in certain facets of their life.

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To improve, residents should reflect on a few key questions—including what small changes could you make to improve individual wellness in an area and what areas do you feel most out of balance?

The course also points residents to additional wellness modules and hful research on the topic.

Visit AMA GME Competency Education Program for more information or to request a demo.