By: Dr. Francesca Vazquez
Promoting wellness is a nationwide trend, one that has been going on for a decade. Just recently, though, did the importance of wellness directed activities become an initiative in medicine. Gynecology residency programs nationwide are taking the lead and we believe all residency programs should follow.
The first annual ACOG National Physician Wellness week was held in 2017 and it was a smashing success. The second one just took place last week and it had physicians all over the country using their creative side of the brain, moving their bodies, relaxing their mind and connecting with their peers and colleagues. This in turn, not only helped them de-stress but connected them with a part of themselves they sometimes don’t have the time to connect with or even discover. One physician resident at UC Davis Medical Center expressed“I feel like I have reconnected with my old self this week. The stress and hustle in medicine makes you forget that part of you sometimes”.
Programs nationwide shared their photos on social media, helping promote physician wellness and got a chance to win cash price! To do so, they tapped into 5 distinct wellness areas.
Here are the 5 wellness areas they focused on and activities that took place throughout the week:
Monday was dedicated to moving the body, promoting physical wellness and focusing on nutrition. For example, medical residents at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA attended a spinning class together while residents at San Juan City Hospital in Puerto Rico had a fitness class during their morning meeting. Other activities nationwide included increasing plant-based nutrition, group power yoga class, snowboarding, kickboxing, preparing green smoothies, and running a 5k.
Tuesday was dedicated to encouraging creativity and boosting mood. This included tapping into the creative side of the brain by learning new skills or using old ones that had been forgotten. Some medical residents took up drawing, coloring, painting and even learned how to crochet. Some created Valentine's Day cards for moms who have babies at the NICU and for women diagnosed with cancer.
Wednesday was dedicated to promoting spirituality and establishing a sense of peace and harmony in their lives. This included practicing mindful movement such as yoga or tai-chi, meditation, coloring mandalas, journaling, creating positive affirmations, and activities found to promote tranquility.
Thursday was dedicated to doing something for the environment or connecting with nature. Residents at UC Davis planted a tree on the grounds of their campus while residents in other programs spent time taking nature walks or bringing the outdoors into their work environment. This included buying indoor plants for the work room such as succulents, visiting a garden, and replanting plants into eco-friendly pots!
Friday was dedicated to connection with the community or with each other. Some programs created a Game day for their residents, others created a trivia night, had a social night out, sang karaoke, cooked for each other, and planned to spend time together, outside of the hospital walls.
The only instructions for the Wellness Week in OBGYN programs nationwide was to PLAN daily activities, PROMOTE physician wellness, and SHARE the activities on social media by using the #ACOGbewell2018. By following these steps, they automatically became contestants to win prizes for their program. Wellness Week was such as success, that other medical programs are taking note and will hopefully follow in their footsteps next year!
Scroll down to find some pictures of doctors nationwide decreasing stress, finding balance and therefore, providing better care to all!
Featured Image: Figs
Source: Ohio State Obgyn
Source: Harbor UCLA Obgyn
Source: UCD Obgyn Residency
Source: NYU Obgyn Residency
Source: UCD Ogyn Residency
Source: SJCH Obgyn residency
Dr. Francesca Vazquez is the founder and editor of Ease to Wellness, LLC. She is a licensed health psychologist and vinyasa yoga instructor based in Miami, FL. She completed her training at Ponce School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami, and UF Health Cancer Center, specializing in health psychology & behavioral medicine. She has worked in spinal cord injury rehab, neuropsychology, pain management, stress management, mindfulness based stress reduction, psycho-oncology, healthy lifestyle counseling and addictions rehabilitation.
Currently, she runs Ease to Wellness while also working as a health psychologist at Adaptive Center in Miami, FL, providing healthy lifestyle counseling for her private clients, and running wellness workshops. She is also a regular contributor for websites such as www.mindbodygreen.com and a yoga instructor at Om Beats Yoga Studio.