University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Wellness in the Internal Medicine Residency

Well-being is a part of every decision at the University of Wisconsin internal medicine residency program, from policies, rotation design, faculty development, curriculum, to how we build community and mentorship. We regularly assess well-being and use this information to engage in regular improvements, as well as individualized coaching and mentoring.

UW Health also recognizes well-being as a critical organizational competency, and participates in the Physician Wellness Academic ConsortiumMariah Quinn, MD, MPH, a former internal medicine residency associate program director and co-creator and leader of our program's Empathy Course, is UW Health's chief wellness officer.

Wellness in Our Program

Policies to Support Resident Wellness

Our internal medicine residency program has instituted wellness half days, which are scheduled ahead to make sure you can attend to routine health visits or other life needs without conflict with work. And, of course, as urgent or ongoing needs can arise, you can always attend medical visits during duty hours.

Despite these efforts, burnout can occur. That's why we have a robust burnout policy that provides you with a breather should you need it—and provide education to all residents and chief residents on recognizing burnout in themselves and others.

Wellness Curriculum

Empathy Course

Our Empathy Course emphasizes reflection, play, and reconnection with your own humanity, and connection with your colleagues. It uses multiple humanities-informed and neuroscience-based techniques to help augment your resilience and improve your communication and relationship skills. 

Course activities have included activities at Allen Centennial Gardens, an improv session, and a meeting at the Chazen Museum.

Positively-Focused Conference Series

This series, held as part of our Morning Report, allows all internal medicine residents to reflect and discuss why we do what we do as physicians. We focus on positive patient interactions that have brought us joy and meaning in our work.

  • Reflections on Successes
  • Reflections on Resilience
  • Reflections on Meaning

Wellness Committee

Our active, resident-run Wellness Committee aims to bring awareness to the importance of resident physician well-being, and support resident efforts to be healthy, build resilience, and find meaning and joy in our work.

We achieve this by publishing wellness newsletters, holding resident social events to build connection and community, hosting Positively Focused conferences, and disseminating resources and training on stress management, burnout and resiliency.

Empathy course activity at Allen Centennial Gardens

Above, an internal medicine resident participates in a wellness activity at Allen Centennial Gardens.

Wellness Newsletters

Our monthly newsletter, Wellness Today, shares events, resources, and resident achievements with residents and attendings.