December 2016 Issue of Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) Focuses on Well-Being

December 9, 2016

On the heels of the ACGME's Second Symposium on Physician Well-Being, the Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) released its December 2016 issue featuring the latest research and commentary on this important topic. Highlights from the issue include a systematic review of well-being in residency, a case study on developing emotional intelligence in the clinical learning environment, and an overview of the feasibility of a comprehensive wellness and suicide prevention program, among others.

JGME Editor-in-Chief Gail M. Sullivan, MD, MPH introduces the featured articles on well-being, and discusses the epidemiology of burnout, resilience, and well-being in medical trainees and practicing physicians. Sullivan calls for "more longitudinal studies and research that compares survey-derived criteria for wellness and burnout with in-person interviews."

In "Feasibility of a Comprehensive Wellness and Suicide Prevention Program: A Decade of Caring for Physicians in Training and Practice," an institutional wellness program for residents, fellows, and faculty members is described. Over 10 years of operation, this program has shown significant increase in use by residents and fellows, and moderate increase in use by faculty members, as well as user satisfaction that the program is feasible and can overcome traditional access barriers to institutional wellness services.

"Developing Emotional Intelligence in the Clinical Learning Environment: A Case Study in Cultural Transformation" describes residents' experience with a training environment in family medicine that emphasizes resident wellness, safety, and interpersonal skills. Regardless of the support for a focus on well-being, participants expressed appreciation for the nurturing educational environment and for the creation of an emotionally intelligent learning community.

In "Well-Being in Residency: A Systematic Review," Kristin Raj, MD discusses limitations of the existing literature, including the lack of a clear definition of resident well-being, as well as a scale for measuring the construct. She recommends that future research should focus on sleep, coping mechanisms, resident autonomy, building competence, and enhancing social relatedness.

Additional highlights include a perspective on establishing the first residency program in a new Sponsoring Institution and data on physician retention in the same state as residency training. For the full December 2016 issue, visit the JGME website.