We don’t deny that residency can be physically, emotionally, and mentally trying at times. Joining a group of supportive residents and attendings is one of the most important things one can do for him or herself when choosing a program. Our program has a long tradition of congeniality among fellow residents and attendings. Ask our residents what their favorite part of UAMS Internal Medicine is, and they will most likely answer something along the lines of, “the people I get to work with every day!”
And while having supportive friendships and mentors is a crucial component of thriving in residency, we know that a structured approach to wellness is important too. UAMS has an entire program dedicated to resident wellness, led by beloved Psychiatry attending Dr. Puru Thapa. It offers mindfulness programs, relationship enrichment courses and individual counseling at no cost to the resident. Additionally, the UAMS Department of GME hosts a Wellness Week each year for all residents. During this week they have give-aways, relaxation sessions, and lectures on mindfulness and the art of balance.
Within Internal Medicine we assist with resident well-being by ensuring that interns have, at the very least, one full weekend every five weeks (during their clinic week). Upper levels will have the same, plus 14-16 full weekends (during their elective rotations). An added bonus of clinic week is a more relaxed schedule in which residents get a half-day of ‘flex’ time to work on their QI projects or take time for self-care, didactics sessions do not start until 9:00 a.m., and clinics are done by 4:00 p.m. most days.
Some of our IM residents attending a Culinary Wellness session led by Dr. Thapa last year.