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Cureus. 2019 Aug 3;11(8):e5314. doi: 10.7759/cureus.5314.

Resident Physician Wellness Curriculum: A Study of Efficacy and Satisfaction.

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Emergency Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CAN.
Emergency Medicine, Addiction Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CAN.
Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CAN.
Emergency Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, CAN.
Emergency Medicine, Kingston Health Sciences Centre / Queen's University, Kingston, CAN.
Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, CAN.
Emergency Medicine, School of Community Based Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CAN.


Background Recent literature highlights the alarming prevalence of burnout, depression, and illness during residency training; a trend that is also linked to suboptimal patient care. Dedicated wellness curricula may be one solution to this concerning issue. Purpose To determine the effect of a multi-faceted wellness curriculum during emergency medicine residency training on wellness scores and to assess resident satisfaction with the program. Methods This study was conducted via a longitudinal survey. In 2009, a faculty-derived resident wellness curriculum (F-RWC) was initiated. This program was then bolstered with a parallel resident-derived curriculum (R-RWC) one year later, in 2010. Emergency medicine residents were surveyed in 2009, 2010, and 2011 to assess wellness at baseline, after one year of the F-RWC, and after one year of combined RWCs, respectively. Surveys included two validated assessment instruments (the Brief Resident Wellness Profile (BRWP) and the SF-8TM Health Survey), a satisfaction Likert scale, and a demographics information sheet. Results The survey response rates were 89% (n=17), 100% (n=17), and 83% (n=24) from 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively, for a total of 58 participants. From baseline in 2009, there was a significant improvement in resident wellness, with the addition of parallel RWC by 2011, as measured by the BRWP (p=0.024). The faces scale, a subset of the BRWP, showed a trend toward benefit but did not reach statistical significance (p=0.085). There was no evidence of a statistically significant change in SF-8TM scores over time. Participants consistently reported positive satisfaction scores with RWC initiatives. Conclusions Dedicated RWC, with input from both faculty and resident physicians, improved wellness during residency training with a high degree of participant satisfaction. Such programs are needed to support resident physicians during their training.


physician burnout; physician well-being; resident curriculum; resident training; resident wellness; wellness

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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