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As Program Director, the emotional well-being of our trainees is one of the most important aspects of our training program. Achieving success in an academically demanding training program requires a healthy, balanced and positive mental outlook. I want you to be happy and enjoy what you’re doing while you’re working hard.
The fellows’ website “The Hot Snare” was developed three years ago. This website, where personal and professional activities are shared, is fully driven by the fellows. Faculty are invited to share some articles in the learning corner. It is a site where fellows and faculty can go to learn about what’s happening inside the Fellowship as well as outside. There is always lots of informative and fun information to glean on the site.
During the year, fellows, faculty, and their families share out-of-work activities to promote a sense of unity, cohesiveness, and positivity. In past years, prior to the COVID pandemic, we have cooked dinner together, painted the Cincinnati skyline together, and this past year, had a wonderful afternoon bowling with one another.
Fellows, on their own, spend a lot of time doing outside activities together. This is the fundamental basis for the strong bond of camaraderie that they all share. Once a year we cancel academic conferences to do a wellness activity. We have done Yoga several years in the past, and this past year we played lawn games on a beautiful sunny autumn day.
The University of Cincinnati, the College of Medicine, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and UC Health have devoted substantial resources to supporting an environment where we can all work and play and stay healthy and be productive.
Mental health, feeling joy during the rigors of medical training, can be challenging, and it is always at the forefront of this Fellowship. For the past three years, on Sunday nights, as Program Director I have sent positive messages of inspiration, leadership, and joy to each of the fellows as they begin their work week.
Part of our midyear and end-of-year evaluation is a “self-reflective” survey. This is the program’s way of training fellows in the art of looking at your life personally and professionally and seeing where you are in terms of achieving your goals. What are your strengths, your weaknesses, what you hope to achieve, and how are you going to do this? This is an opportunity to require yourself to stop and think, take your emotional temperature, and assess your personal satisfaction with what you are doing and with the relationships that surround you. It is a discipline that we would like to instill early in training and have fellows use throughout their careers.
Cincinnati is a wonderful city that has lots of available outside activities and is focused on allowing people that live here to utilize all of the beautiful parks, rivers, music events, social events, and great food in order to maintain physical and mental health.
Below is just a small sampling of what the city has to offer to help you on your way to achieving good mental health.
Check out the tools below to help identity burnout, build resilience and promote wellness.
AMA (American Medical Association)
Improving Physician Resiliency
The Ohio State University Mind-Body STREAM (Skills Training for
Resilience, Effectiveness and Mindfulness) online module program
Cultivating wellness through mindfulness practice and resilience training self-guided mindfulness, chair yoga, stretching, journaling, gratitude, prompts, stream of consciousness and mindful eating
University of CincinnatiDepartment of Internal Medicine
Division of Digestive Diseases
231 Albert Sabin Way, ML 0595
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0595