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Wellness Wednesday: Utilization of Strategic Duty-free Hours by OB/GYN Residents

Purpose: To detail the specifics of how OB/GYN residents utilize a monthly duty-free afternoon for wellness activities. 

Background: Much attention is paid to burnout and high rates of depression among physicians. Some speculate these difficulties may start in medical school but that they become cemented and sometimes problematic in residency. Studies have made implications that interventions, specifically promotion of self-care and work-family balance, and work hour restrictions, early in residency can decrease burnout and depression levels.  

Methods: Starting in 2016, all residents of an OB/GYN program were allowed to have the first Wednesday afternoon of each month free from clinical duties. Faculty members covered all clinical services from noon to 5pm. Residents were then permitted to use the time for whatever they felt promoted their well-being. Two years of data were collected through surveys to determine the specific activities completed by the residents. 

Results: The commonly reported activities included health care visits, financial planning activities, leisure time with family/friends, community or church group events, every day errands, home chores, and fitness. Additionally, the residents also used the time away from clinical responsibilities to study and fulfill administrative requirements. 

Discussions: By better understanding what residents choose to do to promote their own well-being, programs can then tailor structured wellness activities to those choices.  Alternatively, programs can look at an open-ended wellness day as a possible intervention for fostering excellent overall health and welfare of their residents. More research is needed to validate this approach to wellness promotion.

Topics: Quality & Safety, UME, CME, GME, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Professionalism, Residency Coordinator, Residency Director, Osteopathic Faculty, Clerkship Coordinator, Clerkship Director, Faculty, Resident, Student, 2019, CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting,

General Information


Intended
Audience
Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Competencies
Addressed
Professionalism,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Educational
Continuum
GME,CME,UME,
Educational
Focus
Quality & Safety,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Andrea Kinnan, MD, Creighton University School of Medicine

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