Well-Being Policy

This policy defines the ways in which Residents are supported in their efforts to become competent, caring and resilient physicians while completing Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training programs at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).


Scope

This policy applies to residents, faculty, program directors, program coordinators, and Graduate Medical Education (GME) staff at PCOM.

Definitions

Burnout: Long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Dimensions of burnout include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and feelings of lack of competence or success in one’s work. Burnout can lead to depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

Resident: Any physician in an ACMGE-accredited graduate medical education program including residents and fellows.

Resilience: The ability to withstand and recover quickly from difficult conditions or situations. During training, residents may face difficult patient care, educational, or personal events which have the ability to negatively affect their well-being. Decompressing after such situations, through conversation with peers, mentors or family, and self-care activities can increase resilience.

Well-being: Refers to the state of being healthy, happy, and successful. Well-being may be positively increased by interacting with patients and colleagues at work, being intellectually stimulated, and by feeling that one is making a difference/helping. In addition, self-care activities, including exercise, getting plenty of rest and connecting with others, is beneficial.

Policy

Residents’ physical, psychological, and emotional well-being is of paramount importance to PCOM and our ACGME-accredited training programs. Residents are encouraged to lead healthy lives and make healthy choices that support them in their personal and professional growth. To that end, we provide the following strategies to support trainee health, well-being, and resilience:

Institutional Support
  • PCOM campus
    • Health improvement and employee wellness: including health risk and wellness assessment, MindStrength mindfulness training, health and lifestyle coaching, diet and nutrition resources, fitness rooms, onsite fitness classes, and others.
  • Carebridge provides PCOM employees and their families with resources and services that motivate, encourage, and promote healthy lifestyles and foster resilience. Services include:
    • Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Confidential and free counseling services which include up to six free visits/year and 24/7 telephonic counseling.
    • Life management services
    • Financial guidance
    • Wellness support
    • Legal assistance
  • Occurrence reporting: Patient and employee safety reporting for actual events and near misses.

Graduate Medical Education Support
  • The Office of GME is a safe place where residents can ask for and receive help with various needs, including academic counseling, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Residents are reimbursed for taxi service to and from the hospital in the event that they are too fatigued to drive home after a clinical shift.
  • All residents participate in an annual lecture on sleep deprivation and fatigue mitigation.
  • Interns have the opportunity to meet as a group for support with GME faculty
  • PGY-2s are offered the opportunity to meet with GME faculty to discuss the challenges of being an upper-year resident.
  • Social activities are scheduled twice/year for the programs to interact
  • It is mandatory that all programs have four well-being lectures per year.

Program Support
  • There are circumstances in which residents may be unable to attend work, including but not limited to fatigue, illness, and family emergencies. Each program has policies and procedures in place to ensure coverage of patient care in the event that a resident may be unable to perform their patient care responsibilities. These policies will be implemented without fear of negative consequences for the resident whom is unable to provide the clinical work.
  • Residents have the opportunity to attend medical, mental health, and dental care appointments, including those scheduled during their work hours. Residents must follow the program’s procedures for scheduling and notification of these appointments.
  • Residents are encouraged to alert the program director, a faculty mentor or chief resident when they have concern for themselves, a resident colleague or a faculty member displaying signs of burnout, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation or potential for violence.