Building a Culture of Support

Building a culture of support for residents can occur with a few small changes. Below are a few ideas that some residency programs have found to work well. Consider some of the ideas below, or think about your own ideas on how wellness might be integrated into your program’s everyday activities.

  • Know you are not alone
    • Remain familiar with the support services available for residents. Keep the number for the Resident Wellness Office, your local crisis line, and the Physician Health Program of BC handy for when you need to refer a resident or would like to get a hypothetical opinion about what to do. You can find detailed descriptions of the Resident Wellness Office’s services here and our wellness workshops available are listed here. For more information about supporting residents in distress, click here.
  • Let residents know who to contact for various needs
    • Keep a visible list and remind your residents regularly of the faculty leads for residents in distress in your program (if applicable), Transition into Practice (TIP), mistreatment, academic accommodation, etc. Be explicit about what these services offer.
  • Print out your residents’ photos and get to know them by name
    • If possible, have residents’ photos somewhere visible where staff can get familiar with each individual. Make a point to address residents by name when you see them.
  • Get to know your program’s Wellness Champion
    • A Wellness Champion is a representative for wellness for their program/site and they may contact you about wellness-related matters throughout the year. Over 49 programs have identified a Wellness Champion, click here to get familiar with the volunteer for your program, or – if a Wellness Champion hasn’t yet been identified – consider nominating a resident.
  • Identify a faculty member to serve as a liaison for residents
    • If possible, identify an approachable faculty member early on that residents can be directed to if they have issues and would like to speak with someone in a non-evaluative role.