Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Family Medicine | Medical Education
BACKGROUND: Up to 60% of practicing physicians report symptoms of burnout, which often peak during residency. Residency is also a relevant time for habits of self-care and resiliency to be emphasized. A growing literature underscores the importance of this; however, evidence about effective burnout prevention curriculum during residency remains limited.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of a new, 1-month wellness curriculum for 12 second-year family medicine residents on burnout, empathy, stress, and self-compassion.
METHODS: The pilot program, introduced during a new rotation emphasizing competencies around leadership, focused on teaching skills to cultivate mindfulness and self-compassion in order to enhance empathy and reduce stress. Pre-assessments and 3-month follow-up assessments on measures of burnout, empathy, self-compassion, and perceived stress were collected to evaluate the impact of the curriculum. It was hypothesized that this curriculum would enhance empathy and self-compassion as well as reduce stress and burnout among family medicine residents.
RESULTS: Descriptive statistics revealed positive trends on the mean scores of all the measures, particularly the Mindfulness Scale of the Self-Compassion Inventory and the Jefferson Empathy Scale. However, the small sample size and lack of sufficient power to detect meaningful differences limited the use of inferential statistics.
CONCLUSIONS: This feasibility study demonstrates how a residency wellness curriculum can be developed, implemented, and evaluated with promising results, including high participant satisfaction.
burnout prevention, physician wellness, residency education
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© 2016 Christine Runyan et al.
DOI of Published Version
Med Educ Online. 2016 Jun 8;21:30648. doi: 10.3402/meo.v21.30648. eCollection 2016. Link to article on publisher's website
Medical education online
Runyan C, Savageau JA, Potts SE, Weinreb LF. (2016). Impact of a family medicine resident wellness curriculum: a feasibility study. Open Access Articles. https://doi.org/10.3402/meo.v21.30648. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/oapubs/2903
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