St. Mary's Medical Center Family Medicine Residency

Residency Life and Wellness

Dr. Chris Meinzen started Wellness Committee in 2017 when he was a 2nd-year resident.  From its outset, the group's success is predicated on its guiding principles:

  • Leading through collaboration of residents and faculty;
  • Focusing on high level efforts to remove noxious aspects of residency life while reinforcing a cultural of joy in learning and practice;
  • Following an iterative process of seeking input, proposing changes, testing changes, and extrapolating positive outcomes into broader contexts.

From the outset, we knew that our committee needed to be more than "yoga and mindfulness" so each year we tackled the dissatisfiers of residency life (e.g. managing inpatient and outpatient duties, maternity leave, and lack of autonomy ).  With each, we've been able to follow a collaborative process to identify solutions that have been embraced by residents and faculty alike.

And, because "yoga and mindfulness" can contribute to a culture of joy, the Wellness Committee has taken over leadership of our annual resident-wide and class-based retreats.  These outings started 20 years ago and typically include a roadtrip out to Colorado's natural beauty, outdoor adventure, sharing meals together, and lively discussions about work and life.

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