In the University of Michigan Department of Neurosurgery, it’s important to us that our residents find joy in their work. To provide residents with strategies to prevent burnout and increase self-care, the Neurosurgery Resident Wellness Initiative was launched in 2018. Through this effort, we aim to ensure that we are continuously fostering an engaged and resilient physician workforce.
Because self-care is a vital component of resilience and professionalism, the Department is committed to supporting the physical and mental health of residents. The Resident Wellness Initiative supports activities and endeavors that help boost the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our residents, especially in the following areas:
- Nutrition and Exercise: We aim to provide healthy snack and meal options, fitness opportunities such as gym memberships, and incentive programming for healthy lifestyles.
- Well-being and Resilience: We offer tools to identify and manage symptoms of stress and burnout, opportunities for team building and camaraderie (such as the annual neurosurgery softball tournament in New York City and Michigan sporting events for residents and their families), and mindfulness training.
- Co-curricular Learning: We provide opportunities for supplemental skills such as financial planning, business, leadership, and networking to help our residents feel prepared and confident as they take on the next stage of their professional lives.
Dr. Karin Muraszko, who served as department chair when this initiative was launched, was a strong proponent of resident wellness. “Our residents are our most precious commodity. They provide our patients with outstanding care while contributing new and groundbreaking knowledge to the field. This work is incredibly demanding from a psychological and physical standpoint — further underscoring how vital it is that we support the newest members of our community. They are our future and nurturing them now will allow them to flourish into the future.”
The Department’s commitment to resident wellness goes well beyond activities, Dr. Yamaan Saadeh (alumnus) says. “Our department chair, faculty, and mentors model integrity and dedication for us every day, creating a culture of wellness for everyone.”
Generous support from resident alumni and donors throughout the country, garnered through the Resident Wellness Initiative, enables the Department to continue building upon this culture and ensure an enriched resident experience for the next generation of neurosurgeons.