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Wellness Workshop Series

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In support of physician well-being, resilience and performance, the Office of Resident Wellness offers academic half-day workshops on non-technical skills such as navigating transitions in medical training, leadership, communication, managing fatigue, mindfulness, and working with emotions.

For more details on the workshops being offered for the 2016-2017 academic year, please see the descriptions below. The workshops are typically 1.5 to 2 hours in length.

If your Program is interested in scheduling one or more workshops, or collaborating with us in the creation of more program-specific workshops, please complete the following survey so that we can begin to get a sense of your needs, or feel welcome to contact our office at


1) Enhancing Resident Resilience & Performance: Upward & Downward Spirals

This skills-based workshop focuses on an overview of upward and downward spirals related to resilience and performance. The format is interactive. Triggers for downward spirals will be explored, as well as key behaviours for initiating upward spirals in a variety of contexts. Brief mindfulness techniques, narrative exercises and solution focused discussions help participants increase their understanding of self-regulatory processes that enhance self-awareness, well-being and optimal performance during residency and beyond.

2) Managing Your Energy: An introduction to Fatigue Management

Drawing on a multi-disciplinary approach to physical, cognitive, emotional and motivational fatigue, this introductory workshop outlines current knowledge and optimal strategies for managing the multiple factors that influence fatigue states. Countermeasures and strategies for improving sleep and alertness are covered. Experiential exercises for pre-sleep relaxation rituals and a repertoire of on-call tactics are offered to participants.

3) Mindfulness in Medical Life: Attentional Skills Development

This workshop is primarily a skills-based and experiential approach to learning and integrating mindfulness/attentional skills into both personal and professional aspects of a medical life. The workshop offers a brief overview of contemporary research into mindfulness skills and their documented effects on well-being and cognitive and perceptual performance. Brief mindfulness techniques for down-regulating anxiety, working with emotional states and focusing under pressure offered as experiential exercises.

4) The Emotional Physician: Working with Emotions

This workshop focuses on increasing awareness of the many links between emotional states and performance and well-being. Risks for compassion fatigue, burnout and emotional exhaustion are covered. Resident resilience is discussed in the context professional roles and personal reactions to challenges such as adverse events, grief, loss, interpersonal relations and moral distress.

Strategies for self-monitoring, working with emotional states, deepening connections, and opportunities for emotional replenishment in the workplace and during off-work times are exploredthrough experiential learning, group discussion and brief didactic presentations. Several mindfulness techniques are taught to down regulate distress states and to stay task focused while experiencing performance anxiety.

5) Team Work & Adaptive Leadership

This is an interactive workshop where participants are given the opportunity to explore social intelligence competencies, attuned and adaptive approaches to a variety of leadership roles in inter-professional team settings. The emphasis is on group discussion and learning, reflective exercises and behavioral analysis and goals.

6) Managing Transitions & Change throughout the Medical Career

This interactive workshop uses a psychological model of transition to outline the inner challenges and adaptive changes that medical trainees frequently encounter during the training process. Through large and small group discussion participants explore common challenges and coping strategies. A concrete plan for a sustainable approach to self-care necessities and successful anticipation of transition phases is then developed.

7) Enhancing Exam Preparation & Performance

Preparing well for OSCE’s and written exams requires a multi-level approach that includes awareness of pacing, peak attentional periods, optimal studying practices and priorities and clear strategies for enhanced performance before and during exams.

8) Downward Docs – Mindful Yoga & Medicine Workshop:

This interactive and highly experiential workshop focuses on mindfulness, mindful movement, physical awareness and group reflection and discussion. The workshop offers an introduction to mindfulness concepts, basic yoga sequences and attentional skills related to movement and breath. Research evidence supporting the application of mindfulness and yoga in medical training is presented. The workshop concludes with a discussion on integrating mindfulness and breathwork into trainees’ personal and professional lives. The instructors for the workshop are both certified yoga teachers and physicians. Yoga mats can be provided.

Please contact if you are interested in an individual workshop or several workshops for your Program’s academic half days. We are particularly interested in partnering with a few departments to present the entire series as an extended program.

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