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What Do We Really Mean by “wellness?” an Analysis of Resident Use of Time During Allocated Wellness Days
Purpose: To identify resident priorities during allotted
“wellness” days and evaluate the perceived importance of scheduled wellness
time in residency.
Background: There has been a national push to promote resident
wellness as burnout rates continue to remain high. Various efforts have been
trialed, ranging from a 12-week didactic curriculum (Aggarwal) to training
designed to identify signs and symptoms of burnout (Tran) to group workout
sessions (Spiotta), often demonstrating short term improvements in
wellness-related measures. For the past 2 years, in an effort to promote
wellness, our schedule has included two wellness days per year intended to
allow residents to catch up on health maintenance, practice self-care, etc.
Methods: We administered a de-identified survey to our
residency program inquiring about the use of allocated wellness time. This
study was voluntary and deemed IRB-exempt.
Results: We received 16 responses to our survey, representing
each member of our residency program of the 2019-2020 academic year. A wide
array of activities was performed, including doctor or dentist appointments,
haircuts, vehicle maintenance, massages, pedicures, cooking, exercise,
miscellaneous errands, and resting. Importance of wellness days, ranked
on a scale of 1-5, averaged 4.5.
Discussions: Residents were most likely to use their allocated time
to see a doctor, exercise, engage in self-care activities, and relax and least
likely to engage in work-related activities or research. Wellness days were
perceived as highly important and most respondents felt as though these days
supported physical (81%) and emotional (68%) aspects of wellness as well as
work-life balance (75%).
CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME,