Fellow Life and Well-Being

Fellow Group Firestone Retreat

Psychological, emotional, and physical well-being are critical in the development of the competent, caring, and resilient physician and require proactive attention to life inside and outside of medicine. Well-being requires that physicians retain the joy in medicine while managing their own real life stresses. Self-care and responsibility to support other members of the health care team are important components of professionalism; they are also skills are modeled, learned, and nurtured in the context of other aspects of fellowship training. Physicians and all members of the health care team share responsibility for the well-being of each other. The program makes efforts to enhance the meaning that each fellow finds in the experience of being a pediatric surgeon, including protecting time with patients, minimizing non-physician obligations, providing administrative support, promoting progressive autonomy and flexibility and enhancing professional relationships.

At the institutional level, we have implemented a self-assessment tool for fellows to monitor their level of stress/burnout. Free, confidential counseling/mental health services are provided to any fellow who feels they are in need.

The fellowship programs at Connecticut Children's also participate in a Reflective Practice and Leadership series, through the Pediatric Subspecialty Fellows' Core Curriculum. This is a longitudinal initiative in which once monthly fellows will meet with a group of facilitators, including faculty mentors to discuss clinical, psycho-social, career, personal, and ethical challenges that they face as professionals. The model is designed to help trainees analyze and manage complex professional problems through collaborative team discussions/mentoring by faculty and peers.

The Pediatric Subspecialty Fellowship Administrative team seeks to aid fellows in reducing stress in many areas of their program. Recent initiatives include:

  • Snack boxes which are restocked regularly to ensure proper nutrition during shifts/rotations
  • “Study kit” provided to fellows during board prep. Complete with food, highlighters, comfy socks and more!
  • A retreat for all fellows across all 12 pediatric programs, at minimum, once a year during the day, which includes lunch and a team building exercise or activity

UConn School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education is committed to supporting the well-being of all our residents and fellows during their training program. For a full list of resources offered through UConn Health, the Capital Area Health Consortium and the broader community, please visit the Graduate Medical Education Office Well-Being website.

Axe Throwing Group
Smash Room