Jess Mason MD, Alicia Kurtz MD and Brian Blake MD
TAKE HOME POINTS
▪ Creating a protected space and time for physicians to share personal experiences may contribute to resident and physician wellness.
▪ People who rate high satisfaction with their human relationships also rate highly on metrics of happiness.
- Resident and physician wellness is receiving a lot of attention right now. It is a complex problem that is difficult to address. Kurtz started a resident storytelling hour inspired by The Moth on NPR. The Moth is a storytelling organization where people share stories that tend to be personal experiences. Buried somewhere in the story is usually a lesson.
- This is not medical knowledge, literature or board review. These are personal experiences of the residents that they want to share with each other.
- The senior resident leads the talk each month and is expected to contribute. The guidelines are loose. Pick a personal experience you had during residency and talk about how it affected you as a person and physician.
- The stories and experiences don’t leave the room.
- Brian Blake MD shared about interpersonal relationships and his experience with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. This is a non-profit organization pairing an adult mentor with a child facing adversity. Why is it important to him? He feels fulfilled afterwards. The moments in residency that are emotionally fulfilling and gratifying are few and far between. When they come, they are overwhelming. The literature is clear that medical training consists largely of clerical work, up to 60% of time spent writing notes. So much of what we do in medicine is clerical. We need to be careful not to glaze over the meaningful interactions when they do happen with patients. Value the relationships we have with each other.
- Psychologists studying happiness consistently find that people who rate high satisfaction with their human relationships also rate highly on metrics of happiness. It is our relationships with people that predict our happiness.
- The residents are divided into “families”, a mix of senior and junior residents, to help facilitate trust and mentorship. The families discuss questions related to the presentation. “Who are the most important people in your life and what makes your relationship valuable?” This is a safe space to share.