Residency Wellness & Support
It is our firm belief that personal wellness is paramount for a good residency experience. This not only means conducting wellness activities, but also helping build an infrastructure that provides support to residents. We typically conduct monthly wellness events, journal clubs hosted by faculty, as well as encouraging its residents to pursue personal interests. Concurrently we encourage communication between the department and residents, as well as between residents so that everyone has realistic expectations regarding shifts, off-service rotations, etc. We believe that a part of wellness is knowing that you are not alone. To promote these interactions and sharing we provide for a variety of opportunities.
Mentorship & Advising
We believe in differentiating Advising from Mentorship. Each resident is assigned an advisor when they begin residency - this is a member of the faculty who may or may not share interests with the resident, but is intended to be an academic and clinical resource for the resident. However, we recognize that these pairings made early in one's residency may not be perfect and resident interests evolve. Therefore, as a resident gets to know the entire faculty better and develops their own interests we promote the formation of mentor-mentee relationships that are based on personal compatibility and professional interests. Since we have faculty with a large variety of interests and sub-specialization are are almost always able to support residents' need for mentorship.
Over the years we have realized that promoting individual resident-faculty interactions can be challenging from a scheduling standpoint. Also, there may be topics that the faculty may not relate to as well as colleagues. This is why in 2019 we developed a system of "Residency Families" and "Siblings". This system places incoming residents in a family that includes multiple members of the faculty and residents of varying levels. In addition incoming residents are assigned one or more "big siblings" in the residency. Our hope is that these systems allow for residents to not only gain advice, but also be able to share experiences, commisserate and know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing and feeling.
We host in-conference events such as quarterly Wellness sessions, monthly "shout-outs", quarterly Financial Wellness sessions, birthday celebrations, holiday celebrations (including donation drives for hats/gloves/etc. to benefit our local community) and resident-leadership meetings.
Outside the hospital we host a monthly Journal Club at an attending's house, a Book Club, monthly "Night Rounds", and staff the NJ Marathon, in addition to other social activities that have included attending local sporting events and shows, and sporting activities.
The residency hosts a yearly, off-site Residency Retreat - all residents are protected to attend from 11pm the night before to 7am the day after regardless of rotation.
All EM-4 residents are also given protected time to attend the annual ACEP Scientific Assembly. All EM-2 residents are also protected to attend the annual SAEM Annual Conference.Residents are also usually given time and are funded to go to conferences they are presenting at or have publications accepted at. Unfortunately these trips are up in the air given the current pandemic and related restrictions.
Finally, we conduct regular conversations regarding mental health and well-being in conference including sharing resources such as those offered through the institution such as the Resident Wellness and Excellence Center.
While the current COVID-19 pandemic has altered how we interact and presents unforseen challenges, we have tried to engage with residents virtually on the impact of COVID, the social upheaval around us as well as how to generally feel connected. We were lucky to be able to conduct our annual retreat in an appropriately distanced outdoor venue (Liberty State Park) this year too.