PCOM Orthopedic Residency Softball League

PCOM's orthopedic surgery residency has a long-rooted history of hard work, dedication, and diversity. As one of the larger osteopathic orthopedic residency programs, getting to know one another outside of the hospital can be an arduous task. Complicating matters even further is the volume of hospitals that we provide coverage for; this makes it difficult to find time that we are all in the same place and able to talk about things other than fractures and dislocations. PCOM orthopedics is a program with 30 residents from many different backgrounds, geographic locations, and interests both inside and outside of the hospital. Some of us are Philly locals, while some have just moved here. Some of us have our own families, while some of us live alone.

This year, with the help of the Mental Health Task Force Grant, PCOM orthopedics dealt with this challenge through a Sunday afternoon spring softball league at Manayunk Sport and Social Club. At these co-ed games, residents, interns, attending physicians, and even rotating medical students were able to let their guards down and have fun together, and even won a game or two. The bottom of the 7th inning didn't mean the end of the day, either. The team often went out afterwards to celebrate both wins and losses with dinner and cold beers. This weekly social event built camaraderie and friendship among our diverse group of 30 residents who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to get to know each other well outside of the OR. And the relationships we developed with each other are important because, truthfully, no one quite understands the unique demands of a surgical residency better than those experiencing it beside you.

Over the course of the season, we learned to laugh, even when we're losing, and just enjoy the process along the way. We also learned that making your colleagues your friends can help the work day seem more fun. Friendships were developed, memories were created, and there was an overall cohesion of our residency program at the end of the season that wasn’t there at the beginning. Getting to know our colleagues, relieving stress, and taking time to have fun are skills that are just as important for longevity in an orthopedics career as reading x-rays and reducing fractures.