UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Medicine | Family Medicine | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Medical Education | Mental and Social Health | Primary Care | Psychiatry and Psychology


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Residents' stress and burnout is a concern among family medicine residency programs. Our objective is to assess stress management options available to family medicine residents.

METHODS: In 2012, the Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance (CERA) e-mailed a survey to US residency directors. Questions were asked on four types of stress management programming (SMP): (1) access to counselors, social workers, or mental health providers, (2) residency support or Balint groups, (3) stress management lectures or workshops, and (4) residency retreats. We assessed how many programs contained all four types of SMP and their relationship to the following topics: stress management techniques for patients, spirituality, mind/body techniques, and self-care for residents.

RESULTS: Of the 212 responses, 29% reported having all four types of SMP. Eighty-three percent reported stress management lectures or workshops, and 79% reported residency retreats. Smaller and mid-size residencies (36%) and residencies in the West (36%) were more likely to have all four types of SMP. There was a correlation between having didactics, clinical rotations, and electives on stress management techniques for patient care and having stress management lectures or workshops for residents. There was statistical significance between having resident self-care curriculum and (1) having retreats and (2) stress management lectures or workshops.

CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to evaluate whether residency programs are providing appropriate stress management skills for residents that will improve physician wellness and patient outcomes.


family medicine, residency programs, stress management, medical education, physician wellness


Fam Med. 2015 Apr;47(4):272-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Family medicine


At the time of publication, Paula Gardiner was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID