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Wellness Workshop Series

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The Office of Resident Wellness offers workshops to support the development of the non-technical skills required to support well-being and performance, including leadership, communication, managing fatigue, attentional skills, resilience and working with emotions.


Our workshops run between 1.5 – 2 hours in length and are offered to Programs during their academic programming time. If your program is interested in offering one of our workshops or collaborating with Wellness to offer a workshop on a different wellness topic, or a combination of a few topics, please contact Diana Nuss at


1) Managing Transitions and 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.


2) Enhancing Resident Resilience and Performance: Upward and 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.


3) 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.


4) 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 are offered as experiential exercises.


5) 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 explored through 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.


6) Team Work and 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.


7) Enhancing Exam Preparation and 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 and 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 breath-work into trainees’ personal and professional lives. The instructors for the workshop are both certified yoga teachers and physicians. Yoga mats can be provided.


9) Stronger Together: Allyship in Medicine

An “ally” is a person who responds to and voices concerns about injustice – including discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and more subtle, insidious forms of aggression. Being an ally – allyship — can be difficult, and this workshop will provide engaging ways in which participants can learn about and practice responses to the injustices that arise in health care settings. The workshop will use interactive dialogue, small group discussions, and case studies, and will also provide participants with tools and resources to pursue further learning about allyship.


10) Becoming a Wellness Leader

Many staff physicians and trainees feel strongly about physician health and resilience, and have expressed an interest in finding ways to be more of a wellness leader within their program. This workshop explores important considerations for would-be wellness leaders, including reflection on promising practices, case studies, opportunities for culture change, and how to facilitate dialogue and/or workshops on different aspects of physician health and resilience. Like all ORW workshops, the format is interactive, and seeks to draw out and build on the existing strengths of the participants and their contexts, while also fostering new perspectives and possibilities.


11) Resident Resilience in the Context of Adverse Events and Medical Error

Resident resilience is discussed in the context of adverse events and medical error, with a focus on both professional roles and personal reactions. With a brief review of some of the literature on adverse events and medical error, the emphasis of the workshop will be on group discussion and story-telling exercises to support sharing, reflection, self-care planning and recovery.


12) Nurturing our Nature with a Growth Mindset

Our personality is more nature than nurture, but that does not mean we can’t learn to adapt to different contexts and situations. Adaptation requires a growth mindset, the belief that our abilities can be developed. Based on the Myers Briggs personality type framework, this interactive workshop will explore participants’ opportunities to apply a growth mindset to optimize communication at work and in their personal life. Completion of a 20-minute on-line personality test prior to the session is an option.


13) Coping with Imposter Syndrome in Medical Life

Description to this workshop will be available on our website soon. For more information, feel free to email

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