Our department is committed to resident wellness. One of the biggest ways they show this is through an annual resident wellness retreat. Usually held in August so we can celebrate the great outdoors and welcome our newest residents (both CA1s and interns) the department makes a huge effort to get as many people together as possible. In the past we have gone canoeing, hiking, barbequed outside, escaped (from escape rooms), and usually visited a brewery as well! While that is just one weekend a year we have many other fun bonding activities outside of work. One of my favorites was our summer kickball league - residents and faculty got together once a week to compete. These games were filled with camaraderie and lots of laughs. We have other more low key gatherings at breweries and restaurants for journal clubs and just for fun, both with staff and just residents. COVID made gathering outside of the OR more challenging; however, we had Zoom social hours even more frequently so residents could connect and discuss new challenges and laugh at old jokes.
"There is a great work-life balance at the University of Minnesota's anesthesiology residency program. I have my wife, kids, and animals at home and have been able to be there for my family during my residency training. I really find that this schedule lends itself nicely to being able to have a successful family life during residency. The schedule for the CA years is set far in advance, we reliably get relief at 3 pm during most rotations, and the way the call schedule is set up, most weekends are free (although the weekends you work are 24 hrs shifts), and the early hours make it so you can spend afternoons with the family.
The department also puts on a number of organized social events, including dinners, golf tournaments, fantasy football, kickball, and resident retreats. They also had a family day event this year where significant others and children could come experience what we do at work. Overall, I think this residency program has a strong emphasis on providing excellent training, while also striving to allow maintenance of a good work-life balance," Jake Barnes, MD, CA2.