Resident Wellness Workshop

Physician burnout has increased at alarming rates, affecting 1 in 2 physicians at some point during their careers. As institutions explore and invest in solutions, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine have created a resident wellness workshop to help physicians equip and empower themselves with wellness tools. Anthony Cooley, MD, a Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s, leads this workshop for senior Emory University pediatric residents, sharing tools for wellness that support a joyful, lifelong career in medicine.

“As we learn what works, we can share with each other how to assemble our wellness toolboxes,” Dr. Cooley says. “By starting this early, physicians will have strategies not just to prevent burnout, but also to enjoy work-life success.”

Using a mind, body and spirit framework, Dr. Cooley shares evidence-based approaches to exercise, sleep, mindfulness, positive emotions and mission-driven work. He leads residents through brief yoga and meditation sessions. Using the positive emotions of awe and gratitude, residents practice mindful listening. The workshop concludes with a writing exercise, guided by Dr. Cooley, that reflects on life missions and setting intentions.

Jasmine Weiss, MD, is a former Emory University resident and past attendee of Dr. Cooley’s workshop. “The resident wellness workshop was very inspirational and provided me with a variety of tools that I can use throughout my residency and career,” Dr. Weiss says. “Since attending the workshop, I have been practicing daily gratitude and mindfulness. I am looking forward to exploring various mindfulness strategies as I move forward in my career.”

Residents who attend the workshop leave with their wellness toolboxes full of new skills and knowledge to help them build resiliency, manage stress, prevent burnout and achieve work-life success.

“Everything in the doctor’s wellness toolbox is just as useful as an instrument in the doctor’s patient-care bag,” Dr. Cooley says. “The better we care for ourselves, the better we care for others.”