wellness; internship and residency; medical residency; professional burnout; anxiety; psychological well-being; mental health; cognitive disorders; self-compassion; mindfulness; creative outlets; problematic mindsets; meditation


Adult and Continuing Education | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Cognitive Psychology | Contemplative Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Methods | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Psychological Phenomena and Processes



There is a trend toward fostering well-being, or the state of being happy and healthy, within the medical community. Historically, resident physicians have faced high rates of distress during training. A structured well-being curriculum in residency programs may shift residents' mindsets from survival and resilience to one centered on purpose, engagement, and joy.


An original well-being curriculum was administered to residents in person at a single institution every 5 weeks for approximately 10 well-being workshops, totaling around 20 hours of curriculum exposure during every academic year. The well-being curriculum was divided into 4 domains: cognitive distortions and problematic mindsets, mindfulness and meditation, creative outlets, and self-compassion.

Residents exposed to at least 1 year of the well-being curriculum were asked to answer an anonymous survey. Four questions were asked for each of the 4 domains. The first and second questions asked how familiar they were with the topic before and after the workshops on a scale of 1-5 of familiarity. The third and fourth questions asked how much the knowledge acquired influenced their professional and personal life on a scale of 1-5 of influence.


Before curriculum exposure, the average for moderate or higher levels of knowledge across all domains was 22.7%, which improved to 77.3% after curriculum completion. Overall, 58.6% of participants felt the knowledge of the domains was moderately or extremely influential in their professional lives and 83.6% in their personal lives. There were no significant differences between post-graduate year 2 and post-graduate year 3 residents for any domains examined before and after the wellness workshops.


A 4-domain well-being curriculum practiced in a group setting positively impacted participating residents in their personal and professional lives. Further studies need to be performed on a larger scale to assess if the curriculum fits the needs of the broader medical community.