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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 113-117

Promoting intern wellness within a psychiatry residency training program: A process of regular check-ins by chief residents

1 Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Training Program, VA Boston Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
2 Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Training Program, VA Boston Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Bo Kim
150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_354_20

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Background: Wellness in residency is increasingly considered a vital part of medical training. Yet to be widely explored are efforts that focus particularly on 1st-year residents (i.e., interns), who likely experience unique professional changes. We developed and implemented, within a psychiatry residency training program, a process of individualized wellness check-ins with interns by chief residents throughout an academic year. Methods: At the beginning of the academic year, a one-page baseline questionnaire was completed by interns anticipating how the chief residents can best support them. During check-ins, the chief residents asked about interns' residency experiences and wellness. The check-ins were conducted at frequencies requested by each intern. Chief residents sought open verbal feedback from the interns, and more structured feedback was collected 6 months into the academic year, using a brief four-question mid-year questionnaire. Results: Check-ins were conducted with all eight interns in the program. Baseline questionnaire responses indicated interns' preferences for more mentorship, communication across the program, and socialization. Regular check-ins started at intern-desired frequencies, and their content was guided by individual interns' questionnaire responses. Feedback from interns shaped the frequency/content of subsequent check-ins. Discussion: This regular check-in process is an early attempt to explicitly delineate what chief residents can do to support intern wellness. This process can be adapted to meet specific individual/program needs. Further work is warranted to rigorously (i) examine measurable impact of the process on intern wellness and (ii) compare the impact to those of other emerging practices that use regular check-ins to target intern wellness.

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