Wellness is a priority for UIC’s MedPeds Residency program. Our approach to resident wellness is multifaceted and includes:
- Fostering a strong MedPeds family and support network—We are a tight-knit community that loves being together! We have an annual welcome party for our new interns, and an annual MedPeds retreat. Our residents regularly spend time together outside of the hospital, whether it’s through our MedPeds book club, switch parties, or informal movie nights and meals together. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to build our community through a virtual trivia night and weekly virtual hangouts.
- Providing regular channels for residents to voice concerns and create change—Residents have individual semiannual check-ins with program leadership, semiannual class meetings, and regular program-wide meetings where residents can raise issues and discuss opportunities for program improvement and growth.
- Reinforcing connections to the community we serve and the meaningfulness of our work—At UIC, our residents take advantage of ample opportunities to connect with our community through volunteer activities and advocacy which helps to maintain a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Many of our residents are involved in the Leaders for Local Change or Advocacy Tracks.
- Making resident life easier—We have an internal MedPeds website developed by residents with rotation guides, recommended resources, and frequently asked questions. We’ve also compiled a time-saving resource list for quick access to links for things like grocery delivery services and exercise classes. Residents are provided money on their meal cards and have 24/7 access to food options, so they never go hungry.
- Encouraging open dialogue about stress, burnout, and mental health concerns and assuring easy access to mental health resources—All of our interns are scheduled for an opt-out counseling session at the beginning of the year, and residents always have access to free evaluation and counseling services available on campus. We have MedPeds specific debrief sessions and monthly Wellness Update emails to proactively foster resident wellness. Residents in crisis have access to the University’s robust crisis resources.
In addition, MedPeds residents participate in wellness programs and activities offered by each of our categorical programs, which include:
- Wellness days
- Parenting electives
- Exercise bike in call room
- Annual retreats
- Family-style journal clubs
- Professional development and community service initiatives
- Narrative medicine elective
- February is designated Wellness Month
- Faculty cover the units for an all-residency evening outing (Peds)
- Conferences and guest speakers dedicated to wellness topics