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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Medical Residency Program Director and Coordinator Perspectives on Wellness Programs for Resident Burnout

  • Author(s): Rajaee, Ariana Kristina Ajir
  • Advisor(s): Christie, Christina A
  • et al.

Resident burnout can have a detrimental impact on medical communities. Thus, creating and implementing effective wellness measures is key to enhancing the positive impact of medicine. The purpose of this study was to understand how resident program directors and coordinators understand wellness program implementation. Investigating what is currently offered to promote residents’ wellness provided greater insight into how residency programs are currently addressing burnout. This mixed methods study focuses on wellness programs in resident medical education, specifically researching the benefits and obstacles of implementing wellness programs. The study population consisted of internal medicine and general surgery residency program directors and program coordinators, 47 survey participants and 11 interview participants. Participants included both public and private hospitals with graduate medical programs. The findings identified many programs lack essential tools or models for implementation, and residents still experience burnout even when wellness programs are offered. Residency program directors and coordinators are interested in how to combat burnout with efforts such as wellness programs, but there are significant barriers to implementation. Participants discussed their struggles in creating meaningful programs that can meet the needs of their residents. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all approach, program directors and coordinators are left to create their own wellness opportunities from the ground up. This study highlights the noteworthy elements of wellness programs and provides insight into the gaps in program development.

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