University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Quality of Work Life

Simulation clinicProviding compassionate care requires that residents be able to identify and address performance obstacles and facilitators in their own work and learning systems. Accordingly, our program continuously assesses residents' medical practices within the context of their careers and personal lives. Our Education Innovation Project features a counseling program that leads residents to formally self-assess their personal-professional balance and career development as well as their progress in the ACGME core competencies as part of their semi-annual reviews. Residents reflect upon their medical practices, develop individualized learning plans, and specify commitments to change. A core group of residents also meets monthly with program leadership to recommend improvements in programs that affect residents' quality of work life, and several Town Hall meetings each year provide a forum for open discussion of resident-generated work-life issues. As part of a new innovation, residents in our program will be self-assessing their quality of work life, talking within their clinic teams, and using their findings to redesign their work systems. As work processes are monitored, assessed, and modified, we hope to see continuous improvement in residents' quality of work life and job satisfaction, more optimal interactions with patients, and even greater patient satisfaction.