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Resident Wellness

The Postgraduate Medical Education Wellness Program

Residency is a unique opportunity to learn, grow and set the stage for the rest of your career. Residency also has its challenges. While you will face high expectations, the NOSM University Postgraduate Wellness program aims to ensure you also have a high degree of support. The mission of the Wellness Program is to assist our residents in achieving the knowledge and skills to develop healthy and productive professional identities during this important transitional time. The framework of the program includes occupational/academic health, physical health, emotional health and social health.

Our highest priority is providing and coordinating supports for residents who have specific health needs, whether pre-existing or arising during residency. Wellness Program personnel will assist residents with finding and coordinating health resources, as well as working with residency programs to accommodate the learning and training environment if needed. The program also includes proactive components for all residents such as: a wellness curriculum, promoting safe housing and transportation, ensuring your duty hour and leave protections are respected, cultural supports, and guidance with developing a healthy and productive professional identity.

About the Resident Wellness Program

The Assistant Dean of Resident Affairs (ADRA) is responsible for oversight of the Resident Wellness Program. The ADRA and Learner Affairs Officers (LAOs) represent the wellness interests of all residents to NOSM University and its programs, including providing education, consultation and support to faculty and administrators. Starting in 2017, the Resident Wellness Program has developed into an essential resource for residents and clinical fellows. Most importantly for you, the postgraduate learner, the ADRA and LAOs act as a confidential resource to PGME learners who need support. If you have a wellness concern that may affect your training, such as discussion of accommodations or return to work processes or to access counselling supports etc., please feel free to contact the Resident Wellness Team as a resource and link to other support services. The Resident Wellness Program is also guided by the PGME Wellness Advisory Group which is composed of residents, faculty, staff, and administrators who meet regularly to steer the program and respond to residents’ needs.

Residency has the potential to be the most rewarding, formative, and enjoyable time of your life. If you are struggling or just scraping by, please do not hesitate to reach out!


NOSM U Well – Resident Wellness App

 The Wellness Program has developed a “Residents” section within the interactive wellness
app NOSM U Well. The Residents section in the App, delivers easily accessible, secure, up-to-date wellness
information to you around the clock, in any setting! View the NOSM U Well app features here, and download the app below:


I Need Help - Crises Information Button


About Us

Announcement- New Assistant Dean Resident Affairs- Dr. Sean Sullivan

NOSM University alumnus named Assistant Dean, Resident Affairs

Posted on October 12, 2023

NOSM University’s new Assistant Dean, Resident Affairs completed both his MD and residency training in Sudbury. Dr. Sean Sullivan has been practising as a broad-scope family physician with special interests in medical education, physician and learner wellness, and 2SLGBTQ+ health. An Associate Professor at NOSM University, Dr. Sullivan is an active teacher and preceptor of medical students and residents and is a primary preceptor for the family medicine program.

Beginning his five-year, renewable term on October 10, 2023, Dr. Sullivan will be responsible for overseeing the Resident Wellness Program, including the integration of Resident Affairs within Learner Support Services; resident support and policy for the Postgraduate Medical Education Committee; and leadership positions which provide support to residents.

“Dr. Sullivan is a lifelong Northern Ontarian who brings to the role of Assistant Dean, Resident Affairs a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for NOSM University, medical education and learner wellness,” saysDr. Céline Larivière, Provost and Vice President Academic of NOSM University. “I look forward to working with Dr. Sullivan in his new role.”

As a medical student at NOSM University, Dr. Sullivan helped co-create—and was the first Chair of—the Learner Wellness Committee. As a Family Medicine resident, he helped advocate for his peers as Co-Chief Resident and he helped organize social and wellness activities. Dr. Sullivan has been involved in curriculum development and has co-developed and run wellness workshops for residents as well as having served on NOSM University’s Postgraduate Wellness Advisory Group and Resident Support Network.

“As an alumnus of NOSM University’s MD and family medicine residency program, I have a firsthand understanding of the experience of being a learner in our programs and communities,” says Dr. Sullivan. “Through my experiences and education, I have a strong appreciation for the importance of diversity and the fostering of safe, supportive learning environments for all learners, but especially learners who may face bias or discrimination including those who are Indigenous, Francophone, Black, differently abled and/or who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.”

“Dr. Sean Sullivan was unanimously confirmed by the search committee,” says Dr. Rob Anderson, Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education at NOSM University. “We are pleased to see another NOSM University alumnus taking a leadership role, especially in an area as critical as prioritizing the health and wellbeing of NOSM University’s learners.”

Primary Care

Access to primary care is an essential part of staying healthy, and many residents will find themselves outside their home communities during their training. We strongly encourage every resident to locate and establish themselves with a family physician. At the start of each academic year, we refresh our list of Northern physicians who have agreed to take on residents as patients. If you require a physician, please contact your Learner Affairs Officer, email pgewellness@nosm.ca or send a request through the NOSM U Well App.

Accommodations

NOSM University is committed to ensuring that residents with disabilities have equal opportunities to succeed in residency while upholding the high academic standards of our programs. Disabilities can include physical limitations, medical conditions, learning disorders and mental health disorders. The Academic Accommodations, including in the Clinical Environment Policy, can be found online at the PGME Office Policies, Procedures & Forms website. If you are a resident with a disability who is in need of accommodations, please get in touch with your LAO directly or the Accessibility Advisor, who can be reached via accessiblityadvisor@nosm.ca

Direct Support

All NOSM University learners have access to the Student Assistance Program (SAP) services through Homewood Health. Homewood Health is known for its personal touch and exceptional level of clinical service delivery. The SAP program from Homewood Health will include several new services and will provide access to a full range of health and wellness services:

 

Homewood Pathfinder

Homewood Pathfinder is your solution for today’s complex world. It offers you a wealth of expert tools and resources, a curated care path and SAP service recommendations based on your individual needs and preferences. With Homewood Pathfinder, you select your preferred approach to access support. You can choose from a digital experience, a fully ‘live’ experience by telephone, or a blended experience. This choice improves your SAP by allowing you to instantly access tools, resources, and service recommendations in the way you are most comfortable with.

Counselling Services

Counselling services are available over the telephone, by video, face-to-face, or online. The counsellors are highly qualified with a minimum of a master’s degree, typically in social work or psychology. The counselling is based on a short-term model with a solution-focused approach that is meant to help people understand their concerns and develop a plan of action to address them.

Life Smart Coaching

This is a series of work-life services that include parenting, childcare and eldercare, legal consultation by qualified lawyers, financial guidance through certified financial experts, nutritional coaching by Registered Dietitians, and career coaching, which includes pre-retirement and shiftwork guidance provided by career counsellors and smoking cessation support. Each service has been developed to allow you to take a proactive approach to manage everyday challenges and life transitions and receive information and support that suits your unique situation. Mostly, these services are delivered by telephone and often include an assessment, a personalized package of information and useful tools with your best interests in mind. 

 

How To Access Services 

Please visit Homewood Health’s website at www.Homeweb.ca and log into Member Services to access the SAP online services.

If you are in crisis, immediate support is available through Homewood Health. Please be assured that the program is completely confidential. If you have any questions, you may contact Homewood Health 24/7/365-day at 1-800-663-1142 (EN) or 1-866-398-9505 (FR).

Advocacy

Resident wellness rests upon a foundation of respect for PARO-OTH Collective Agreement protections, freedom from intimidation and harassment, safe and healthy working environments, and safe housing and transportation. Residents are encouraged to come forward if ever these conditions are not met. Recognizing that you may need clarification of these standards or assistance with advocacy, the Wellness LAO is available to provide support.

For further information on mistreatment, please visit: Addressing learner Mistreatment.

To access our PGME Policy and procedures page please click,  PGME Office Policies, Procedures & Forms website.

Wellness Curriculum

The PGY1 Core Curriculum includes wellness topics like fatigue management, burnout, mindfulness and resiliency in order to help you develop the lifelong skills to stay well in medicine.

Our Partners in Wellness

Ontario Medical Association Physician Health Program (PHP)
The Ontario Medical Association Physician Health Program (PHP) provides a range of direct services to physicians, residents and medical students, as well as supportive services to family members.

The PHP provides confidential support for individuals who are struggling with substance use and mental health concerns, as well as with other behaviours that have a personal and professional impact. The PHP also offers support and education to physician leaders, hospitals, and other worksites; as well as to anyone else who is concerned about a loved one or colleague.

PHP support is responsive, helpful and knowledgeable about local resources. All PHP services are confidential, and residents are referred to appropriate services geared to caring for physicians in their own community, or one nearby if preferred.

The OMA Physician Health Program can be reached through their confidential line at: 1-800-851-6606 (Ontario only). Additional information is available online at php.oma.org.


The Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO)
Paro is your professional association responsible for negotiating and upholding your collective agreement, as well as providing direct support services for its members.

PARO maintains a 24h helpline, which is a confidential support service for residents and their families. The toll-free number is accessible anywhere in Ontario.

PARO Help Line: 1-866-HELP-DOC (1-866-435-7362). Additional information can be found at www.myparo.ca/helpline.

The PARO website also includes wellness information, tips for thriving in residency, and strategies for stress. These and other resources can be found here: www.myparo.ca.

Transportation Safety

The distributed nature of NOSM University Postgraduate Medical Education programs means our residents spend quite a bit of time on the road, and our Northern weather can sometimes make our highways unsafe. If ever you judge the conditions to be unsafe for highway travel, we prefer that you stay off the road. If this causes you to show up late for the first day of your next rotation, or an academic session, so be it! Contact your program coordinator as soon as possible so alternative arrangements can be made, for example teleconferencing in. There is no penalty for keeping yourself safe. Please refer to the Postgraduate Medical Education Resident Safety Policy for additional information pertaining to transportation/travel safety and more .

Residents also work long hours. If you are too tired to drive yourself home after an overnight shift or an extended shift, do not get behind the wheel. Call a taxi to come pick you up and keep your receipt. NOSM University will reimburse you for the cost of a trip from the hospital to your residence in the same city, as well as the cost of the taxi ride to retrieve your car (after you’ve had a nap). Just submit a request through  the NOSM U Well App taxi reimbursement section with the details of your trip and it will be emailed from the App to the Resident Wellness Program.

Confidentiality

All resident communication with Wellness Program personnel, including personal health information, will be handled confidentially within the limitations of the law. Your program director, faculty supervisors and colleagues will not be informed of the content of these communications without your consent.

Postgraduate Medical Education Resident Wellness Confidentiality Policy

Leaves Policies

The resident Wellness Program would like to remind residents of the importance of taking breaks. In addition to our support, the Collective Agreement also provides professional time and lieu days. To find out more on the resident responsibilities for sick days, short term and long-term leaves please visit the PGME Office website.

Postgraduate Medical Education Leaves of Absence Policy

Resident Leaves Checklist

Other Wellness Resources Available

Canadian Medical Association Wellness Support Line

The CMA Wellness Support Line (www.cma.ca) will link Ontario residents to the OMA Physician health program. For Ontario, the Wellness Support Line is 1-800-851-6606 which offers counselling and access to mental health supports to physicians, medical learners and their immediate families. It is a 24/7 bilingual (French and English) service, delivered via Morneau Shepell and is designed to complement existing resources available through physician health programs in provinces and territories across Canada

For further information on their wellness support line, please visit the CMA Support line.

The CMA Physician Wellness Hub

The CMA Physician Wellness Hub (the Hub) is one of the key programs the CMA has created to drive change in the culture of medicine and to promote health and wellness in the medical profession for the benefit of practitioners, the health system and all Canadians. The Hub aims to improve physician wellness individually as well as at the system level and to promote a collaborative approach to physician health and well-being.

The Hub is a national collection of nearly 300 physician health and wellness resources, spanning 22 topics. Resources include original CMA content and curated information from other trusted sources. Information is targeted to physicians, residents and medical students seeking guidance and wellness self-help, and CMA membership is not required to access it. The Hub also has material for those leading wellness initiatives and programs. The CMA will continue to add tools and resources to the Hub, as needs arise and as new materials become available.

The Hub also incorporates two other key CMA health and wellness initiatives: The Wellness Support Line and Wellness Connection and aims to support other high-quality health and wellness initiatives developed by the provincial and territorial physician health programs. The CMA worked collaboratively with the provincial and territorial medical associations and provincial health programs, other medical stakeholders and physicians to leverage their input and enhance resources that are already in place for physicians and medical learners.

The Hub is a tremendous source of all kinds of resources, such as articles, videos, podcasts, etc. It is easily searchable. A quick search of the hub’s content visit their website CMA Hub

Resident Doctors of Canada

RDoC is dedicated to supporting its members’ health and wellness throughout their medical training. Please visit their Website to learn more about how they have taken a leadership role in a number of resident wellness projects.

 

NOSM University  Connections

NOSM University Health Sciences Library- Health and Wellness page

NOSM University Francophone Medical Education

NOSM University Indigenous Medical Education

NOSM University IMG Support and Resources Site

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Kids Help Phone

LGBT Youthline

Settlement.Org: Welcome to Ontario

Contact Us: Wellness Program Support

General PG Wellness Contact: pgewellness@nosm.ca


 

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