We Matter Too! Addressing the Wellness of Program Coordinators in Graduate Medical Education

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Abstract

Introduction:

Burnout and stress in medical settings have been associated with despondent staff and decreased productivity. Although Program Coordinators (PCs) play an integral role in residency training programs, there exist few, if any, interventions aimed at addressing their burnout.

Methods:

A longitudinal study design was used to evaluate data from residency/fellowship training PCs who participated in a wellness retreat held at a single institution in August 2016. Subjects completed anonymous, pre- and post-retreat questionnaires in addition to a 3-month follow-up questionnaire, which included questions used to assess aspects of job demand, resiliency, and well-being. The seven-item Physician Well-Being Index and a logistic regression model were used to assess well-being. Mean values and SDs were reported to examine changes in mental health scores and participants' job satisfaction over the course of the intervention.

Results:

Nineteen of the 45 (43%) invited residency/fellowship training PCs completed data collection. Coordinators ranged in age from 25 to 64 years; all were female. Well-being, sleep, resiliency, and employee satisfaction scores improved over the assessment period. Well-being scores initially decreased by 0.37 at the postassessment, but increased at follow-up (mean: 2.0; SD 1.7). Stress scores increased from baseline to post, but decreased from baseline to follow-up: 0.2 and −0.2, respectively.

Discussion:

Residency PCs experienced improvements in mental quality of life, resiliency, stress, and sleep scores on attending the wellness program. Attention to such findings may have important implications, as we address the burnout crisis in the medical education community.

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