Well-being in residency: Impact of an online physician well-being course on resiliency and burnout in incoming residents

Mari Ricker, Audrey J. Brooks, Sarah Bodine, Patricia Lebensohn, Victoria Maizes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Wellness in residency has come to the forefront of national graduate medical education initiatives. Exponential growth in knowledge and skill development occurs under immense pres-sures, with physical, mental, and emotional stressors putting residents at burnout risk. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education re-quires programs to attend to resident wellness, providing the structure, en-vironment, and resources to address burnout. This study’s purpose was to evaluate the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine online Physician Well-being Course (PWC) with incoming postgraduate year-1 (PGY-1) residents in multiple residencies across a single health care system. The PWC teaches the learner strategies for building resilience, managing stress, iden-tifying signs of burnout, and mindfulness practices including a self-selected daily 10-minute resiliency activity (meditation, gratitude journaling, and finding meaning journaling) for 14 days. METHODS: Incoming PGY-1 residents were enrolled in PWC 1 month prior to 2018 orientation. Validated measures of resiliency, burnout and gratitude were completed pre-and postcourse. We assessed pre/postcourse changes with paired t tests. We asked participants whether they incorporated any well-ness behavior changes postcourse. RESULTS: Almost two-thirds of the incoming trainees completed the course (n=53/87, 61%). We found significant improvements (P<.05) for resiliency and burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization). Gratitude did not change. The personal accomplishment burnout scale declined. The most fre-quently reported wellness behaviors were in the area of sleep, exercise, and diet. CONCLUSIONS: Resiliency, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization improved, personal accomplishment declined, while gratitude remained the same. This project demonstrates an accessible and scalable approach to teaching well-being to incoming residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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