Physician burnout and high rates of mental health issues amongst physicians are an important concern today. Several articles on this subject have been published recently. However, few articles have been written about starting life balance training early during residency. This prospective study attempted to identify the impact of a wellness programme on resident’s emotional and physical health. Eight neurosurgery residents were enrolled and participated in a weekly group exercise session and lectures on mental health and sleep hygiene twice a week for one year. Psychological testing was performed at baseline and at the end of the pilot year. At the end of the year, the residents’ anxiety scores, quality of life scores and sleepiness scores improved and the residents perceived the pilot programme favourably. The limitation of this study is that the authors did not include a control group to compare scores with. Overall, though, a similar wellness programme could be initiated by all residency programmes. It may not only improve the health of the residents and prepare them for the rigors of the physician’s life but may also help to reduce physician burnout and mental health issues in the long run.

Impact of a residency-integrated wellness program on resident mental health, sleepiness and quality of life.
Spiotta AM, Fargen KM, Patel S, et al.
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Gauri Mankekar

Department of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

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