The Resident Wellness Initiative (RWI) seeks to create a culture within medicine that honors young physicians' well being and send of meaningfulness as integral to their development into master clinicians, and therefore, to their provision of excellence and humanism in patient care.

Mission Statement:

Wellness residents at dinner

Who We Are

Wellness residents on a hikeWe are a community of residents and faculty that believes that the health and well-being of our profession is as important as that of the patients in our care: we cannot care for others unless we are well ourselves. We recognize that the wellbeing of each physician is a shared responsibility.  The greater US medical system, the UPHS health system, the residency program itself and each of us as individuals contribute to our own wellbeing.  Many of this residency program’s leadership are working at the national level to bring about much needed change.  Effective interventions must address the system-level causes, including workflow inefficiencies, negative learning environments, and work overload with poor support.  We also recognize that some of the norms of our profession - perfectionism, presenteeism, and pathologic altruism - also contribute to burnout. We strive as a community to reset these norms.  At the program-level, our mission is to support each member of our community to thrive, not just survive, throughout residency.

Lastly, we also acknowledge that each of us must make a commitment to our own individual health and well-being: physically, emotionally and spiritually. The RWI, through the Personal Resilience and Reflection Curriculum and beyond, seeks to provide each individual with wellbeing strategies to implement for themselves and to encourage each of us to be active participants in our health.  We organize and support resident-led initiatives including wellness-focused events, retreat wellness activities, educational opportunities, and scholarly endeavors. The committee is comprised of residents and faculty who champion these activities across the program.

What Wellness Looks Like at Penn IM

As a residency program, we believe that we are stronger as a community than any of us working alone.  This team-centered philosophy permeates our inpatient services, our outpatient clinic sites, and how we approach the wellbeing of our fellow residents. 

Med-peds retreat at the beachIntegrated into the residency’s academic curriculum is a longitudinal wellness curriculum, called the Personal Resilience and Reflection (R&R) Curriculum.  This innovative and evidence-based curriculum incorporates strategies that have been shown to be effective for our profession’s well-being into hour-long interactive workshops that foster support among residents.  There are six sessions during intern year and 3 sessions during the JAR and SAR years. 

Lastly, 3 years ago, the residency program funded the reconfiguration of unused space into our “Room for Reflection,” a safe space close to the patient wards, where residents can retreat and rejuvenate with healthy snacks and coffee/tea/water stocked by the residency program.

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