First Annual Resident Wellness Day at Conemaugh Memorial Emergency Medicine 

Thanks to the support from POMA and the Mental Health Task Force grant, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency was able to host our first annual Resident Wellness Day. While the residents were a little skeptical about what to expect initially, they ended the day with smiles on their faces and many positive remarks about the event.

We started the day with a brief 20-minute lecture from Dr. Kutz, the psychology program director at our hospital who has a personal passion for wellness. After his talk, we watched a TED Talk regarding wellness and listened to a podcast from a couple of well-known EM physicians regarding their views on resident wellness. The residents wrote anonymous shout outs to each other, to boost group morale, and wrote a list of the reasons they went into Emergency Medicine and what aspects of being an EM resident they feel they excel at. They were instructed to keep these lists in their desk drawers to review when they are having an off day.

After the list exercise, we broke the residents into three teams and held a series of mini team-building contests, all of which required different skill sets and cooperation and coordination among teammates. The contests included some problem-solving games, a medical terminology spelling bee, a game called “Name That Attending”, and an engineering-type of contest requiring teams to build a device around an egg, using only provided materials, that would keep it safe when dropped from 10 feet above the ground. We finished the morning events with a catered lunch.

All in all, the residents enjoyed a day free from medical education and the opportunity to catch up and get to know each other better. The event was extremely successful and is something we hope to start doing annually. Thank you for encouraging us to start incorporating resident wellness into our program more regularly!