At Albany Med, we believe wellness is derived from the work that we do, the care we provide to our patients, and the team culture we create. Albany Medical Center’s Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) offers all residents wellness resources in the form of numerous wellness initiatives developed over the past several years. These GME initiatives seek to address nine specific domains of wellness. In addition, our GME office has developed innovative reporting systems that allow residents to submit concerns so they may receive assistance as needed. Albany Med residents have access to mental health specialists through our Psychology and Psychiatry department where they can receive and engage in numerous assessment and treatment modalities.
Throughout the past several years, our program has developed a three pronged approach to wellness. These prongs include Support, Fun, and Education.
In addition to the support services offered by the GME department, our residents enjoy a robust support network within the program that really begins with a deeply shared interest in resident success. From the very first time our applicants meet our residents and faculty, they quickly see that we are a supportive family. Our faculty happily serve as mentors ready to support our residents in good times and in challenging times. Our residents also support each other! Our program is small enough that you will quickly find reliable friends and colleagues who truly care about your wellbeing and who will help keep you strong along the way. Our administrative team prides itself on our ability to respond to each resident’s needs. Our program director, department chair, associate program directors, chief residents, and coordinator maintain an open door policy at all times; we are ready, willing and able to help you develop strategies and plans to ensure your success. You are routinely encouraged to establish with healthcare providers once you arrive in Albany and you are given a half day each quarter to attend appointments and take care of life as needed. We are also able to ensure your ability to attend routinely scheduled appointments, no questions asked, by collaborating with the chiefs.
We are proud to have a resident-led, faculty mentored Social & Wellness Council. Our associate program directors, Drs. Meghan Aabo and Anna Flik serve as faculty champions. Their experience with community health and advocacy as well as LGBTQ+ initiatives enhance opportunities for rewarding community outreach and engagement. This committee is also responsible for planning social events and reporting to the administrative team when new or changing wellness needs arise within the residency. Our residents enjoy a nice balance between work and play. So far this year they have organized and participated in yoga in the park, river tubing on the Battenkill River in the beautiful Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, and a self defense class led by our gen-peds faculty, Dr. Mindy Clark. We also enjoy annual ski trips, celebrating the holidays together at Dr. Nagle’s house and a great end of the year party at a local country club! We make it a point to get together outside of work once a block with program leadership at a local restaurant or bar to enjoy eachothers company outside the hospital- all are invited including significant others and family.
We recognized several years ago that sponsoring fun events isn’t enough. We needed to give our residents the skills to cultivate and maintain their own wellness. Our residents enjoy a series of workshop-retreats throughout their three years in which various wellness domains are discussed. Residents have learned about financial wellness from a financial advisor, career planning and preparedness, contract negotiation, and physical health & wellbeing. Our third year residents have also enjoyed panel discussions with junior and mid career faculty members discussing the transition from resident to independent practitioner with an emphasis on finding an individual balance between clinical, academic, and personal demands.