Eat when you can. Sleep when you can. Pee when you can. This mantra has long been uttered from surgeons at all levels of training looking to pass on words of wisdom to those beginning their career in medicine.
While stories of eating a diet of graham crackers and peanut butter and falling asleep at a stop sign driving home post call may be told with bravado, the underlying message of deprivation cannot be overlooked. A desire to change this culture has taken root and the Department of Surgery is committed to improving the wellness of residents and faculty. Over the last year an initiative was started to evaluate the current level of burnout among residents and faculty and then determine what improvements can be made.
A survey of residents has indicated improving quality time and food would contribute to making residency a little less stressful. In response, the residents have been given two personal days to use throughout the year so that they can take a day to see the dentist, attend a school performance, or spend the whole day sleeping if they choose.
Additionally, updates to the resident work spaces including new Italian leather couches are aimed at creating a more comfortable environment.
Perhaps the most challenging improvement has been food, but a monthly lottery for a $100 food card and coffee and bagels at M & M have been popular additions. Along with paying for a state medical license, purchasing loupes during the second PGY year, and quarterly social gatherings, the Department is making strides to foster a culture of comradery and wellness.
The wellness committee, spearheaded by Drs. Garcia, Mullner, and Abbott, is always looking for new ideas and ways to improve. If you have an idea or suggestion, please reach out to one of them.