The University of Rochester Family Medicine Department has made wellness one of our number one priorities. We understand that clinicians and staff who are taking care of their own mental, physical and spiritual health will provide better care for our patients and will be more likely to have long and joyful practices.
Our annual Spring Residency Retreat will focus on Wellness as its recurring theme. We plan to use the opportunity every year to reflect on the progress our department has made in supporting clinician and staff wellness and also highlight any ongoing areas for improvement. During the most recent retreat, we did some problem solving exercises around both institutional and personal barriers and facilitators of well-being. In addition we all did an intense 7-minute workout and had the opportunity to get massages and osteopathic manipulation.
We have created a department wide Wellness Committee whose mission is to promote wellness among all members of the department. The committee consists of representatives from all different roles in our department including residents, faculty, administrative and clinical staff. Our first meeting was May 2017 and we have three areas we are focusing on including Physical and Mental Health, Work Environment, and Social and Food.
The Physical and Mental Health group has a many exciting projects going including a meditation session every Wednesday at lunch, a lunch-time walking group, a peer support program, making the Employee Assistance Program for mental health therapy more accessible and a Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) drop off location at Highland Family Medicine for healthy fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers. The Environment Team has spearheaded a community garden, quiet music playing at lunchtime in the building, more bike racks, and is working on improved work stations that allow for sitting or standing. The Social and Food group has been busy organizing events focusing on plant based eating, increasing the social events organized by the suites, adding nutritional information to vending machine displays in clinic, and starting a newsletter with healthy recipes.
Additionally, we recently started exercise group medical visits for patients that medical students, residents and fellows help to facilitate (and can use to get in a little exercise during clinic time!) One of our residents is a Bollywood Zumba instructor and she lead a session during one of our recent groups which was incredibly fun and provided a great work out for all who participated! While there is still a lot of work to be done we are excited to continue the legacy of the biopsychosocial model in Rochester as it pertains not just to patient wellness but to all who work here.