West Virginia University's Department of OB/GYN Resident Resiliency Curriculum: A Focus on Well-Being

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stress and burnout impact physicians at all stages of training and practice, but resident physicians are particularly at risk. Resiliency skills may protect physicians from the dangers of stress and burnout and may provide improved coping skills.

METHODS:

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology conducted monthly meetings with the Residents to discuss resiliency topics in an off-site, private setting without judgment, evaluation consequences, or attending participation.

RESULTS:

During the 2015–2016 academic year, 12 sessions were conducted focusing on Communication Styles, Conflict Resolution, Leadership Skills, Difficult Patient Encounters, Physician Wellness, Resiliency, and Stress/Burnout Management. After completion, residents were anonymously surveyed and sessions were evaluated for effectiveness based on a Likert scale of 1–5. Eleven of 12 sessions returned a 4 or 5 rating, corresponding with a moderately or strongly agree from 100% of the residents. Only one session revealed one resident with a neutral response, or 3.

DISCUSSION:

Sessions explored difficult patient encounters, sentinel events, and interpersonal and professional conflicts. Positive mindfulness-based resilience interventions were discussed. Resident communication about perceived failures and stressors promoted positive discussion and insight. Sessions were almost all uniformly positively scored, with the highest ratings in communication styles, leadership/team-building, and conflict resolution. Resiliency is a key coping skill for physicians to maintain well-being. A residency resiliency curriculum has shown to be well-received in our institution and should be considered as integral in curricula as medical knowledge concepts.

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