Beginning in July 2017, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) made physician well-being in the working and learning environment a priority.  The common program requirements have been revised to include the following:

Section VI. The Learning and Working Environment

Residency education must occur in the context of a learning and working environment that emphasizes the following principles:

  • Excellence in the safety and quality of care rendered to patients by residents today;
  • Excellence in the safety and quality of care rendered to patients by today’s residents in their future practice;
  • Excellence in professionalism through faculty modeling of:
    • effacement of self-interest in a humanistic environment that supports the professional development of physicians
    • joy of curiosity, problem-solving, intellectual rigor, and discovery
  • Commitment to the well-being of the students, residents, faculty members, and all members of the health care team.

The Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency Program at Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia has established priorities for resident well-being for the academic year 2017-18.

  • Peer and Social Support Networks
  • Access to Medical and Dental Care
  • Access to Psychiatry/Counseling Services
  • Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle

In order to meet these priorities, a “Wellness Program,” including education and activities that focus on personal well-being and understanding of factors that lead to professional satisfaction and resilience, is integrated into the residency curriculum.  The program will:

  • Stress a healthy lifestyle, highlighting the following:
    • Rethinking work-life balance,
    • Mitigating competing priorities,
    • Healthy diet,
    • Sleep hygiene,
    • Exercise,
    • Take control of your time,
    • Make time to get healthcare/help,
    • Cherish your loved ones,
    • Look out for your colleagues,
    • Find a mentor,
    • Give back,
    • Embrace the privilege of being an OB/GYN.
  • Educate residents annually on fatigue recognition and mitigation. Residents will complete the Stress and Impairment in Residency module from CREOG and have a didactic session on fatigue.
  • Assess physician burnout. Residents will complete an assessment of “burnout” as part of the semi-annual review process, such as the “Well-Being Index” offered online from Mayo Clinic.
  • Develop “Wellness Houses” that will serve to promote small group mentorship and social support. Each Wellness House will include a faculty mentor and a resident from each level of training (also a fellow from sub-specialty training).  Faculty mentors, with the house members, will host activities 2 to 4 times annually, including community enrichment (service)
  • Establish a “Wellness Committee” to develop the curriculum for promotion of resident well-being and assess the effectiveness of the program. The committee will include 4 residents and 2 faculty, one resident serving as the committee chairperson.
  • Participate in the annual ACOG Junior Fellow National Wellness Week, emphasizing the daily wellness pillars (physical, environmental, spiritual/mindful, emotional/intellectual, and social wellness).
  • Make resident health maintenance for medical and dental care a priority, allowing for planned absences up to four times annually for care. Other special circumstances for health care, including maternity care, are also supported program-wide.
  • Make resources for mental health services or professional counseling widely available, publically posting information regarding institutional resources (services are free-of-charge).