We are dedicated to cultivating and supporting the well-being of our surgeons through education and engagement.

Plastic Surgery team members in the operating room
Dr. Kwakye and Dr. Valbuena talking in conference room
Lab personnel working in the lab

Our Commitment

Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery is committed to cultivating the wellness of surgical faculty, residents, and medical students through awareness, education, resources, and a supportive environment. Surgeons, like many individuals in healthcare professions, work in environments where they encounter suffering on a daily basis. In the process of caring for patients, it is easy to lose sight of caring for oneself. The Department of Surgery Wellness Team, as part of the larger culture dedicated to the health and wellbeing of all members, is here for you. 

Please reach out if you have questions, are seeking resources, or need support. In addition, contact us if you would like to develop or contribute to wellness initiatives.

We partner with the Michigan Medicine Wellness Office, which offers a wide array of resources and events to support wellness across Michigan Medicine.

Department Programs & Initiatives

The Department of Surgery offers a variety of channels for faculty members, residents, fellows, and staff members to seek support or provide feedback around wellness in the department: 

  • Needs Assessments & Surveys: In order to create program-specific interventions, we are conducting regular anonymous needs assessment surveys on topics of wellness throughout the year. Information from these surveys is directly provided to the Vice Chair of Resident Professional Development to promote trainee voice.
  • Resident Ombudspersons: We have selected Department of Surgery resident ombudspersons outside of the standard surgical hierarchy who may be contacted for confidential discussions surrounding any issue pertaining to wellness. This person acts as a direct advocate on behalf of the trainee and has knowledge regarding various resources.
  • Wellness & Environment Resident Life Directors: The leadership team is tasked with leading efforts to understand the needs of the resident community and developing and implementing initiatives and programs to meet those needs.;
  • Michigan Action Progress System (MAPS): MAPS aims to provide informal, ad hoc, peer-to-peer education when addressing mistreatment or unprofessional behavior that has been reported to department MAPS representatives. 

The Department of Surgery COMPASS peer supporters are trained by the Office of Counseling and Workplace Resiliency to provide psychological first aid and emotional support from a place of shared experience. Peer supporters can assist colleagues through difficult experiences with patient care, stress and burnout, or any work-related concern. All conversations are strictly confidential, and any member of a care team can request peer support.

Surgery COMPASS Peer Mentors 

The University Hospital South Wellness Center is an easily accessible onsite wellness center at UH South with a variety of physical activity equipment and services. All residents, as part of the Michigan Medicine house officer association agreement, are guaranteed acceptance of applications for membership to this facility. Additional wellness resources are available through the MHealthy initiative.

Contact Us

Gurjit Sandhu, PhD

Vice Chair of Resident Professional Development