Building a Culture of Resident Well-Being: Creating Self-Reflection, Community, & Positive Identity in Family Practice Residency Education

Cohen-Katz, Joannel; Miller, William L.; Borkman, Jeffrey M.
September 2003
Families, Systems & Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family ;Fall2003, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p293
Academic Journal
A call for reform has occurred across medical disciplines to counteract the isolation and overemphasis on cognitive competency that characterizes residency education. This article describes an experiment in creating an alternative residency culture-one that encourages selfreflection, a sense of belonging, and positive identity-to support the resident in becoming a healer. Extensive qualitative methodology from multiple data sources was used to evaluate this program. We found that the experiment has been successful in creating a sense of community within residents and between residents and their classmates. Positive identity and self-reflection have also been enhanced. Obtaining full acceptance from all faculty and staff, and allowing multiple community members to help create and modify the culture building tools, has been critical. We conclude that culturebuilding tools can enhance the development of the resident as healer by reducing isolation, encouraging self-reflection, and enhancing positive identity.


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