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Resident Wellness Program


We believe it is imperative our physicians care for themselves while caring for our patients. Our aim is to create a culture that makes wellness an integral part of the workday while providing multiple levels of support.  Also, we promote the development of a lifestyle that prioritizes rest, relaxation, and recharging time outside of work.

Workday Culture

  • Snack Stations
    • Our Family Health Center has multiple snack stations located in our resident work areas. We stock these stations with sweet, salty, indulgent, and healthy snacks based on resident preferences.
  • Wellness Didactics
    • Approximately once per month, there is a wellness didactic session. Topics are varied, interactive, and non-clinical. Past session themes:
      • Theme: Building and Burning Energy
        • Examples:
          • We discussed the role that stress plays in burnout and how we can utilize physical and mental games to reduce burnout symptoms and improve resiliency. Residents participated in indoor activities including painting, puzzles, 4-square, and table tennis.
          • Hosted a two-part series on Plant-Based diets, led by local Plant-based diet experts. Residents also participated in a Plant-Based Diet cooking class at the Phipps Conservatory Kitchen
      • Theme: Staying Connected
        • Example
          • Discussed the importance of staying connected with ourselves, our colleagues, and our loved ones. We made gratitude boxes and displayed them in the clinic to collect messages of kindness and gratitude for one another
      • Theme: Relaxation and Mindfulness
        • Example
          • Residents were led through various Mindfulness, breathing, and yoga exercises.
  • Administrative Time During Didactic Session
    • Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to didactics. We created a protected time between lectures for residents to address any administrative work such as completing forms, finishing notes, calling patients, or meeting with colleagues. Residents have reported this allows them to work productively in a succinct time and better focus on the didactic lectures. 
  • Annual Program Retreat
    • Each Fall our Residents and Faculty gather at an off-campus location to enjoy an afternoon together with team-building activities, games, and opportunities to learn more about each other. Past retreats have been at Kennywood Amusement Park, Pittsburgh Pirates Games, Gateway Clipper Tours, and Scene 75 Entertainment Center.
  • State of the Residency
    • Our chief residents create a survey to assess resident satisfaction with all facets of our program including clinical rotations, equipment and facilities, didactic teaching sessions, and wellness initiatives. Residents have the opportunity to provide anonymous, candid feedback on areas in our program that can grow and improve. Within one month of the State of the Residency results, our Program Director and Faculty respond to each opportunity for growth. We highly value this opportunity to create ongoing, positive changes in our program.
  • Rest and Refresh Rooms
    • In addition, to call rooms, we have Rest and Refresh rooms in the Family Health Center and Shadyside Hospital where Residents can find a quiet oasis to rest, meditate, or recharge.


  • Resident Support Group
    • Bimonthly lunch meetings for residents to meet, discuss celebrations and struggles, and provide support to one another.
  • Balint Group Led by Two Leaders Credentialed Through the American Balint Society
    • A Balint group is a facilitated case presentation focused on a better understanding of the doctor/patient relationship. Participants learn a style of processing difficult patient encounters that combines the use of empathy and self-reflection to develop stronger relationships with patients.
  • Wellness Champions
    • We have several Faculty and Resident Champions who meet regularly to continually assess and grow our Wellness Program.

Life Beyond The Hospital

  • Semi-Annual Afternoons Off for Appointments
    • We have dedicated dates that residents can schedule self-care appointments for their own physical and mental health. Residents use this time to see their doctors, visit the dentist, or schedule an afternoon to spend with family and friends.
  • Intern Night Monthly
    • Each Wednesday evening of the block, we provide coverage for all our interns so that they may meet as a class to socialize outside of the hospital. Intern classes often meet for dinner and drinks or participate in activities like Axe Throwing and Escape rooms. This special time fosters a unique bond in each intern class.
  • Gym Access
    • UPMC offers discounted memberships at multiple local gyms. Our hospital also has an on-site gym near the resident call rooms with 24/7 access.
  • Pittsburgh Events Calendar
    • UPMC provides a weekly schedule of free or low-cost concerts, activities, and fairs occurring each week in Pittsburgh.