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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2018 Summer;38(3):165-170. doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000209.

We Matter Too! Addressing the Wellness of Program Coordinators in Graduate Medical Education.

Author information

Ms. Ewen: Data Analyst, Office of Graduate Medical Education, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. Dr. Gardiner: Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. Ms. Palma: GME Housestaff Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Medical Education, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. Ms. Whitley: Residency and Fellowship Coordinator, Department of Family Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. Dr. Schneider: Designated Institutional Official for ACGME, the Chair of the Graduate Medical Education Committee, the Dean for Graduate Medical Education at Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston, MA.



Burnout and stress in medical settings have been associated with despondent staff and decreased productivity. Although Program Coordinators (PCs) play an integral role in residency training programs, there exist few, if any, interventions aimed at addressing their burnout.


A longitudinal study design was used to evaluate data from residency/fellowship training PCs who participated in a wellness retreat held at a single institution in August 2016. Subjects completed anonymous, pre- and post-retreat questionnaires in addition to a 3-month follow-up questionnaire, which included questions used to assess aspects of job demand, resiliency, and well-being. The seven-item Physician Well-Being Index and a logistic regression model were used to assess well-being. Mean values and SDs were reported to examine changes in mental health scores and participants' job satisfaction over the course of the intervention.


Nineteen of the 45 (43%) invited residency/fellowship training PCs completed data collection. Coordinators ranged in age from 25 to 64 years; all were female. Well-being, sleep, resiliency, and employee satisfaction scores improved over the assessment period. Well-being scores initially decreased by 0.37 at the postassessment, but increased at follow-up (mean: 2.0; SD 1.7). Stress scores increased from baseline to post, but decreased from baseline to follow-up: 0.2 and -0.2, respectively.


Residency PCs experienced improvements in mental quality of life, resiliency, stress, and sleep scores on attending the wellness program. Attention to such findings may have important implications, as we address the burnout crisis in the medical education community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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