“When you discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough to make room for it in your life”—Jean Shinoda Bolen
Resident Life - Pediatric Residency
Balance and well-being are paramount with our residents, and living and training in Vermont is really unmatched for achieving this goal. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful in Vermont, but Burlington is a vibrant city that provides opportunities for any interest. Burlington is a diverse community rich with culture, including farm-to-table restaurants, art festivals, concerts, and outdoor activities for all seasons are very easily accessible.
Resident Life - Retreats
Annually, we have a resident retreat for each class, in addition to an all-resident retreat. Each retreat includes a small curricular component; but the majority of that day is devoted to exploring Vermont through the lens of well-being and camaraderie. Examples of past retreats have included zip-lining, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, and apple picking – to name a few. The curricular component included for each respective year falls into the following themes:
PGY-1 retreat: “Teamwork and Adult Learning”
PGY-2 retreat: “Leadership and Professional Development”
PGY-3 retreat: “Looking Forward”
All-resident retreat: “Camaraderie and Wellness”
Wellness amongst our residents and faculty is promoted first and foremost through our culture of collegiality and acceptance. Residents and faculty are on a first-name basis; and family-centered care is practiced with multi-disciplinary teamwork that emphasizes collaboration and respect.
We have created a “house system” where residents, faculty, and medical students are sorted into different teams based on similar interests. During each block of our academic year, various challenges/tasks are assigned that promote wellness (for example, visiting your primary care provider/dentist, hiking, exploring new locations in Vermont, lunch with an attending). Points are awarded for each activity completed, and winning teams are announced at the end of each block; and ultimately, at the end of the year.
We have also designed and incorporated an administrative half-day built into our curriculum, that’s accessible for all residents during the majority of their electives (exceptions include night float, PICU, and NICU senior). We recognize the importance of having this dedicated time for residents to complete tasks related to program requirements, research and advocacy interests, and wellness.
We have a committee composed of current residents and faculty that help promote wellness in a variety of different ways. Some of the recent examples in the past several years include: development of a monthly healer’s reflection session with interdisciplinary team members, as well as elimination of 24-hour shifts.