Optimizing Resident Wellness During a Pandemic: University of British Columbia’s General Surgery Program’s COVID-19 Experience

This article was originally published here

J Surg Educ. 2020 Jul 19:S1931-7204(20)30251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.07.017. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The University of British Columbia’s General Surgery Program delineates a unique and systematic approach to wellness for surgical residents during a pandemic.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: During the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers are suffering from increased rates of mental health disturbances. Residents’ duty obligations put them at increased physical and mental health risk. It is only by prioritizing their well-being that we can better serve the patients and prepare for a surge. Therefore, it is imperative that measures are put in place to protect them.

METHODS: Resident wellness was optimized by targeting 3 domains: efficiency of practice, culture of wellness and personal resilience.

RESULTS: Efficiency in delivering information and patient care minimizes additional stress to residents that is caused by the pandemic. By having a reserve team, prioritizing the safety of residents and taking burnout seriously, the culture of wellness and sense of community in our program are emphasized. All of the residents’ personal resilience was further optimized by the regular and mandatory measures put in place by the program.

CONCLUSIONS: The new challenges brought on by a pandemic puts increased pressure on residents. Measures must be put in place to protect resident from the increased physical and mental health stress in order to best serve patients during this difficult time.

PMID:32747316 | DOI:10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.07.017