Ideas for Wellness Initiatives in Your Program

Here is a growing list of wellness-promoting initiatives that UBC residency programs have implemented. The intention of this list is to highlight the excellent initiatives that exist, to promote the sharing of ideas, and to provide inspiration. Please write to us at if you have ideas to add to this growing list!

  • Start a “Food Locker”: take turns to supply healthy snacks for the group each week in a common space (Medical Oncology)


  • “Ice Cream Rounds” – A supportive group facilitated by the Resident Wellness Counsellor where residents can connect, eat ice cream, and talk about any concerns or topics of interest relevant to the group. Ice Cream Rounds can occur as a one-time event or as a regularly scheduled recurring event. To bring Ice Cream Rounds to your program, please contact (Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, ObGyn)


  • Ombudsperson: Residents vote to identify a faculty member who serves as a point person they can go to to discuss any concerns. This faculty member is, importantly, a non-evaluative role. Residents can also go to their Program Director with any concerns, but residents may appreciate having a non-evaluative person as an option.  (Pediatric Emergency Medicine, St. Paul’s)


  • “Warm Fuzzies”: a station where residents can write encouraging notes or put little treats in peers’ mailboxes to brighten their day (Pediatrics)


  • Hold a meeting before Academic Halfdays, where first year residents can meet with upper year residents to facilitate mentorship conversations (Anesthesia and St. Joseph’s)


  • Opportunity to maximize lounges as spaces for connection by including a bulletin board for resident communication and events (Victoria)


  • Create a WhatsApp Group: A messaging channel for all residents in a cohort can be very helpful as a hub for activity planning, questions, discussion, and a springboard for social gatherings. (Anesthesia, Respirology)


  • Identify a Faculty Lead for Resident Wellness. (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics)


  • Monthly emails (‘Wellness Update’) sent out by a resident to peers: Events that are happening in the program and in the community, links to information about wellness resources available. (Abbotsford, St. Paul’s)


  • In emails, include a link to the Resident Wellness Office along with recurrent reminders of the resources available. Can have impact in normalizing the ups and downs of residency and remind people of the supports that exist. (Internal Medicine)


  • Ongoing informal mentorship (e.g.: how to do billing, parenting in residency) with faculty members in an informal space (Child Psychiatry)


  • Join in on weekly drop-in indoor soccer for residents, booked at a local elementary school gym (Pathology and Lab Medicine)


  • Host a monthly peer-led ‘Finding Meaning in Medicine’ group (Psychiatry – Victoria)


  • “Fireside Chats”: all residents gather with a non-evaluative staff member at an offsite location to debrief challenging aspects of residency (Medical Oncology)


  • “Gratitude Rounds”: a complement to Ice Cream Rounds, a peer-facilitated group bringing residents together to reflect on the positive aspects of medicine (Pediatrics)


  • Encourage mentorship by connecting residents with staff members who can provide personal and professional mentorship, or invite a guest speaker to discuss how to find and approach a mentor (Emergency Medicine – Kelowna, ENT)