Resident wellness?

by Christina on October 17, 2012

Why do we do such a bad job at resident wellness?  I thought I would be better at this but am finding am finding it impossibly hard.

This past month I’ve back in the hospital as the senior resident on the inpatient service — it is wearing on me.

First, I need to say that it’s not all bad. There are many moments of laughter and fulfilling patient interactions.

But I’m definitely feeling the physical and emotional exhaustion. Frustration, anger, and cynicism have been quickly sneaking in to my day. My body is constantly tired which has become resistant to coffee. I have a cold that I can’t seem to kick. I can’t make it all the way up hill on my bike ride home anymore. I’ve completely lost my yoga practice. I’ve lost my appetite for fruits and vegetables. And I haven’t been sleeping well, tossing and turning anxious about my patients and possible mistakes I’ve made.

Today, I hit my threshold for lack of my own wellness.

Tomorrow is a new day with a new plan: short yoga practice first thing, morning vitamins (multi and D), green juice for breakfast (no more bagel & butter), grapes and pomegranates for snacks, kombucha for hydration. It will be a new day.


Resident wellness is something we need to get better at…. check out this project for more.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Summers MD PhD October 17, 2012 at 6:47 am

Thanks for sharing, Christina. I’m enjoying reliving my own blessed journey through idealism, hard work, lack of sleep, and endless pressure through your eyes. I wish the issue stopped with resident wellness, but it’s tough as an attending, too. It’s backwards, isn’t it? Doctors need to have the healthiest lifestyles and inspire others to follow their lead. In an era where chronic diseases are the big killers, and chronic diseases are mostly lifestyle related, the work of a healer really falls short if we don’t address that. Leading by example is the most effective way.



Christina November 10, 2012 at 1:17 am

Thanks, Kathleen! Great to hear from you. Yes you are right, leading by example is the way (but it’s so hard sometimes!)


Chris Palmer October 18, 2012 at 12:08 am

Your new plan sounds perfect! Hang in there! What an amazing test of your endurance.


Nicole Chen October 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hi Christina,

Thanks for posting about our project! It’s so nice to hear that you are so conscious about your own health and wellness as a resident. Where are you doing your residency? We are in the Bay Area too – maybe we can swap notes sometime and talk about resident wellness at where you’re training.

Hope your new regimen goes well!


Christina October 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Hi Nicole! So great to hear from you!! I’m doing my residency at UCSF in family medicine… would LOVE to meet up sometime and talk more about all this! Let me know the best way to get in touch with you 🙂



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