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

Surgical team in the operating room
Glenn Wakam at DEI Dinner
Vascular Surgery trainees in the simulation center
Dr. Telem speaking at Michigan Women's Surgical Collaborative conference

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.

Programs & Initiatives

  • Resident Wellness Committee: We have a dedicated group of residents who are committed to holistically addressing issues surrounding trainee wellness. Each member (also known as an ambassador) acts as a voice for fellow residents to raise concerns and suggest opportunities for improvement to program leadership. We have representatives from General Surgery as well as Integrated Subspecialty programs. This group meets monthly. 
  • 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. 
  • "Anastomosis” Mentorship: This mentorship initiative consists of several members: house officers (years 1 and 2), academic development time house officers, medical students, and attendings. Trainees ascend this combined vertical and peer mentorship ladder as they progress in their program. 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The Department of Surgery is dedicated to ensuring that all members of our community feel welcomed, respected, appreciated, valued, and safe. Our department supports open, honest conversations surrounding culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability and all additional identifiers.

  • Cultural Complications CurriculumWe have made a concerted effort to make these conversations a regular component of our cultural complications educational conferences in order to promote collective growth. 
  • Michigan Women’s Surgical Collaborative: In 2016, several women leaders in our department started the Michigan Women’s Surgical Collaborative in order to conduct rigorous research, to participate in outreach, and to advance a supportive culture for women surgeons.  
  • DEI Grand Rounds & Lectures: We have invited nationally renowned leaders to speak about critical topics related to diversity and inclusion at our grand rounds. Example lectures include:
    • “Swords and Shields: A Discussion: A Discussions of Power, Privilege, and Opportunity” by Adam Foss, JD, founder of Prosecutor Impact
    • “The Lack of Diversity in Medicine is an Emergency: A Call to Action” by Quinn Capers IV, MD, the Associate Dean for Admissions, an Associate Professor of Medicine, and the Program Director for the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at The Ohio State University
  • Town Halls & Social Gatherings: Several attending and resident leaders are also directing town hallsdiversity dinners, and other social gatherings to further highlight these issues and to educate our community on how to be allies for each other and create dedicated time to discussion. As an always improving department, we actively seek and look forward to adding more opportunities to have these discussions, to promote unity, and to facilitate equity in care.

Community Outreach

Our department encourages community outreach as a means to improve both personal and communal wellness.

Physical Wellness

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

Michael Kemp, MD

Resident Wellness Director