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Family Medicine Residency (Minnesota)

Resident Well-Being

Mayo Clinic learners doing yoga

In the Family Medicine Residency, we believe that humanism and excellence can co-exist. One unique aspect of our residency is the inclusion of a clinical psychologist on staff. By adding a psychologist into residency leadership, our program has demonstrated a commitment to promoting behavioral, team, and diversity science to optimize a healthy culture and learning environment. Cesar Gonzalez, Ph.D., L.P., our clinical health psychologist, works alongside of residents to help recognize and address the nonmedical factors that influence patients’ health and well-being. 

Our residency understands that to flourish in promoting the legacy of family medicine (beyond residency) one will need vitality. Vitality includes a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and energy. To promote these essential components, our Residency Well-Being Committee established the following philosophy:

  • Residents, faculty, and staff are humans first
  • Psychological safety is core to healthy adult learning and well-being
  • We value keeping a person’s autonomy, belonging, and competency intact
  • Well-being is both an adjective and a verb; it represents the intersectionality of attitude, knowledge, skill, and habit;
  • Well-being can be learned and unlearned; it is driven by the explicit, implicit, and null curriculum
  • Well-being is a shared responsibility that spans the socioecological levels (e.g., individual, team, residency, community, institution, nation)

The essence of our philosophy is in that adult learning can occur without shame or punishment. In treating our residents well and with respect — our residents learn to treat themselves and others well and with respect. Our program’s experience is that this philosophy stimulates our residents’ life-long learning, professional development, and well-being and results in vitality and flourishing as individuals, community members, and as family medicine physicians.

Residency well-being program structure

Our well-being curriculum is not prefabricated — it’s not one activity — it does not target one skill or domain of life, because our residents’ life is not one domain-ed. Instead, our well-being curriculum is a collective and longitudinal process that is informed by principles from ethics and science to meet the needs of each class. In addition to our Mayo Clinic resources, our residency program provides the following: 

  • Residency Well-Being Planning Committee (monthly; with allocated yearly budget)
  • 10-point check-in (biannually; informs well-being activities and skills need)
  • One-on-one professional identity and leadership development (quarterly-biannually)

Residency program well-being activities

  • Well-Being Hour as part of All-Resident Seminar (monthly)
  • Work-Life/Life-Work Process Group (monthly; facilitated by Katherine Schupack, D.O., and Cesar Gonzalez, Ph.D., L.P.). Our group’s motto is: “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
  • Orientation to residency for family, friends, and partners (yearly)
  • Resident day-long retreats (yearly)
  • Specific mentorship to individuals underrepresented in medicine (as needed)