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Resident Wellness

The Postgraduate 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 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.


I Need Help - Crises Information Button

Who to Call in a Crisis: A NOSM Resident’s at-a-glance guide to support.


Primary Care

Having access to primary care is an essential part of staying healthy, and many residents will find themselves outside of 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. The list can be found within MyCurriculum under Resources or by request to the Wellness Program personnel.

Accommodations

NOSM 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 new Post-Graduate Accommodations Policy can be found online under Policies and Forms. If you are a resident with a disability who is in need of accommodations, please contact the Wellness Lead Clinician for assistance.

Direct Support

The Wellness Lead Clinician is available to you for coaching and brief advice pertaining to your wellness issues. The WLC can also help you locate and coordinate wellness resources. We encourage any resident experiencing academic or occupational distress to reach out given that wellness issues are often interconnected.

For professional counselling and therapy, NOSM has invested in an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) through Morneau Shepell. All NOSM residents and immediate family members have access to the EFAP at no personal cost. To ensure confidentiality, fees for the EFAP services have been paid in advance by NOSM. The EFAP is completely confidential within the limits of the law.

Morneau Shepell is a leading EFAP services provider, offering a wide range of wide range of confidential and voluntary support services. We specifically chose Morneau Shepell as our EFPA provider for their experience with northern and rural clients and for the wide variety of delivery options that suit our distributed model.

EFAP benefits include:

  • Short-term Professional Counselling
  • Family Support Services
  • Legal Support Services
  • Financial Support Services
  • Naturopathic Services
  • Nutritional Services
  • Health Coaching
  • Specialized Counselling and Online Programs

Residents are encouraged to use the EFAP at any time. Call 1-800-387-4765 or visit workhealthlife.com and sign up using Northern Ontario School of Medicine for full access to the EFAP services and resources.

Advocacy

Resident wellness rests upon a foundation of respect for PARO-CAHO 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 Lead Clinician is available to provide support.

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 Postgraduate 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 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 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 fill out a NOSM Expense Form with the details of your trip and email to Denise Fleury in the wellness program at pgewellness@nosm.ca.

NOSM Postgraduate Wellness App – Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for exciting updates about the anticipated launch of our Wellness App! The Wellness Program is in the process of developing an interactive Wellness App for our residents, in order to deliver easily accessible, secure, up-to-date wellness information to you around the clock, in any setting!

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.

Wellness Program Support

Contact Dr. DellaVedova at: residentwellness@nosm.ca
Contact Denise Fleury at: pgewellness@nosm.ca
Contact Laura Csontos at: lcsontos@nosm.ca

Dr. Jonathan DellaVedova

Dr. Jonathan DellaVedova is the Wellness Lead Clinician for the NOSM Post-Graduate Education Department. The Wellness Lead Clinician is responsible for coordinating the Postgraduate Education Wellness Program, as well as providing direct supports to residents. The Wellness Lead Clinician also represents the wellness interests of all residents to NOSM and its programs, including providing education, consultation and supports to faculty and administrators.

Most importantly for you, The Wellness Lead Clinician acts as a confidential resource to residents who are in need of support. If you have a wellness concern that may affect your training, or vice versa, you should feel free to contact Dr. DellaVedova as a resource and as a link to further resources.

The Wellness Lead Clinician is supported by Denise Fleury in the Postgraduate office and Laura Csontos in the Learner Affairs department who provide strategic and administrative support to the Wellness Program. A Wellness Advisory Group composed of residents, faculty and administrators meets 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 scraping by, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Dr. Jonathan DellaVedova
NOSM PGE Wellness Lead Clinician

QUICK LINKS

Policies and Forms

Policies and Forms

Resident Wellness

Resident Wellness

PGE Office

PGE Office

Residency Programs

Residency Programs