General Surgery Resident Wellness
The University of Kentucky General Surgery Resident Wellness Program was started in 2020 to address the well-being of our surgical trainees. The goal of the program is to support our residents holistically during their training, while also providing them with a wellness skillset that can be used for the remainder of their professional careers. We envision that this wellness program will improve the health and morale of our surgical trainees and improve the camaraderie within our department as a whole.
The program, modeled after similar national programs, focuses on four core areas of well-being: Mental, Physical, Professional, and Social. The focus on resident well-being is borne out of multiple studies that have shown that burnout remains high, particularly among U.S. general surgery residents. Surgical residents work up to 80 hours and 6 days per week, often in high acuity and stressful environments. Providing a well-being curriculum with multiple support initiatives will hopefully decrease resident burnout and simultaneously foster an inclusive environment that supports their educational and surgical competencies.
Wellness Program Core Initiatives:
Routine psychology sessions for resident classes or individual residents
Creative outlets (e.g., ArtsCAFE, etc.)
Family well-being resources and connections
Access to healthy food and snacks in the resident work room
Meal stipends for local restaurants
Care packages for sick residents/families
Resident mentorship program
Funding to attend conferences/meetings
Access to career development resources
Global Surgery opportunities
Monthly social rounds
Support for life events (e.g., birthdays, weddings, births, etc.)
In addition to the Surgery Resident Wellness Program, the Graduate Medical Education Office in the UK College of Medicine provides extensive information on wellness and links to supportive resources for all of its residents and fellows.