Focus on Wellness
Residency can be an inherently stressful time full of change and transitioning into a program from medical school can be a catalyst for even more stress. We believe as a program that wellness is a daily practice that promotes healthy habits within the physician and the surrounding environment. The goals of the UAMS Anesthesiology Resident Wellness Committee are to promote a healthy work-life balance, maintain peer support and advocacy, as well as provide physical, psychological, social, and professional wellness education. All of this helps us achieve the ultimate goal, which is to aid the UAMS mission of providing high quality, innovative, patient, and family-centered care.
Through various activities both during and outside of the hospital, the Wellness Committee actively strives to prevent burnout, build a community, and works everyday towards an environment where residents are successful and thrive. With all of this in mind, we want to develop resilience among our physicians during this challenging phase of education. The skills, knowledge, and attitude necessary to maintain this outlook and experience during training, are the building blocks from which a physician will become successful in practice and patient care.
Our department publishes a monthly wellness newsletter as well as having a monthly wellness Grand Rounds topic. We have instituted innovative scheduling to encourage resident wellness. We have Post Call Academic Wellness days (PCAW) that residents use for doctor’s appointments, catching up on sleep/physical fitness, studying, and meeting with a mentor, enjoying a hobby, or working on QI/research projects. Our residents taking the BASIC examination do not take call the week of the exam when scheduled to be in the main operating room. We take wellness seriously and have confidential free counseling available through our hospital employee assistance program. Our goal is for our residents to not only be well trained but be happy well-rounded individuals at the end of their four years here at UAMS.
Resident Wellness Activities and Benefits
- Pre COVID: social gatherings-pool parties, crawfish boils, happy hours, axe-throwing, department workout class, any excuse to get together for some relaxation and fun
- During COVID: Zoom happy hours and check-ins
- Yearly departmental tennis tournament
- CA-1 resident retreat (canoeing on Buffalo River)
- Resident, faculty, and CRNA of the month nominated by any members of the department
- Monthly wellness Grand Rounds
- Confidential free counseling available to all resident physicians through the employee assistance program
- Post Call Academic Wellness Days while on Main OR rotation- use for doctor/dentist appts, catching up on sleep/physical fitness, enjoying a hobby, studying, meeting with your mentor, working on QI/research project
- Study breaks from the OR before the in-training examination/BASIC exam
- No call the week of the BASIC exam for residents taking the exam
- Xbox, cable TV, Apple TV, refrigerator/freezer in the resident lounge
- Access to a lactation room and adequate break time is given for our breastfeeding residents
- Healthy snacks supplied in the resident lounge
- Money on the resident badge for meals during assigned calls
- Quarterly catered resident wellness lunch provided by the Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists
- Quarterly anonymous resident survey to confidentially address any complaints/changes people would like to see
- Monthly wellness committee meetings open to any resident who would like to attend
Jill I. Ramsey, M.D.
Associate Program Director for Clinical Operations & Resident Wellness
Department of Anesthesiology
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences