Wellness goes beyond merely the absence of distress and includes being challenged, thriving, and achieving success in various aspects of personal and professional life (Wallace). The Department of Psychiatry recognizes that burnout is a prevalent phenomenon of the work environment, and is committed to a ‘culture of wellbeing’, including the development of infrastructure and learning environments that support the development of a sense of professional identity, purpose, resilience and the ability to thrive in one’s career. We also encourage residents to find ways to maintain their health and wellbeing. Residency can be a challenging period of ongoing change, steep learning curves, and multiple demands, coupled with a lack of experience of how to manage growing responsibilities. Like all physicians, residents face an increased risk of burnout and mental health issues compared to the general population.
Psychiatry Residency Program
Psychiatry Resident Association of Toronto (PRAT)
PRAT offers two retreats each academic year. These retreats are an opportunity to come together as the larger resident (PGY1-5) community, to facilitate connection, fun and an opportunity to learn about important issues affecting physician wellbeing. Guest speakers focus on important topics like tackling stigma against physicians accessing mental health resources, to concepts like ‘financial wellbeing’. The retreat is also aimed at providing residents at each training year an informal avenue to provide feedback regarding their rotation experiences to the incoming year. The retreats are held off-site and without staff presence.
In addition to the retreats, PRAT offers social events for residents all year round. This can range from games night, pub night, to sessions on career planning.
Psychiatry’s Resident Advisor
Contact the Department of Psychiatry’s Resident Advisor for confidential discussion, advice or involvement. The Resident Advisor works at arm’s length from the postgraduate training program. No one in the department will know that you have contacted the Ombudsperson, or what you have disclosed, without your permission. Please visit the Resident Advisor page.
PRPC Subcommittee on Resident Wellbeing
The mandate of this committee is to develop and maintain programs in support of psychiatry resident wellbeing. Recognizing that factors affecting wellbeing in residency training draw from individual, organizational (the residency program, individual hospitals, and the broader medical community) as well as systems factors (provincial health care system), this committee aims to understand how these factors affect our residents perceived wellbeing during training, and will work through the PRPC to develop and support policies, processes, and programs that support residents.
Resident Wellness Committee
Since it’s inception in 2016, the Psychiatry Resident’s Association of Toronto (PRAT) Wellness Committee has strived to advocate for and integrate wellness in the Department of Psychiatry. Our vision is threefold: (1) to enhance resident engagement and build a strong community, (2) to advocate for preserving resident resilience, (3) and to build strategic partnerships with other programs. We meet semi-regularly throughout the year, and organize wellness-themed events (yoga, trampoline dodgeball, board games, rock climbing).
All current Psychiatry residents are welcome to join! If you’re interested, please contact your PRAT representative.
Who's Who in Wellness
Stay tuned for more “Spotlight on Wellness” interviews showcasing faculty involved in resident wellbeing
Meeting Dr. Chetana Kulkarni
The Postgraduate Wellness Office
The Postgraduate Wellness Office is part of the Department of Postgraduate Medicine at the University of Toronto. It provides the following services
- Family doctor registry
- Referrals to GP-psychotherapists
- Short-term counseling and wellness coaching
- Support during remediation/academic difficulty
- Educational programming/wellness workshops
For more information contact (416) 946-3074 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PARO resident wellbeing committee
PARO Helpline 1-866-HELPDOC (1-866-435-7362)
Ontario Medical Association (OMA)
The OMA offers various Wellness Resources through their website:
- Professionals Health Program offers range of direct services to physicians and their family members. Call 1-800-851-6606 for direct access
- Podcasts on managing stress, resilience and anxiety
- Mindfulness exercises
Residents are encouraged to work with their supervisors, site directors and local physicians-in-chief to find the kind of mentorship they are looking for. If you have questions about finding a mentor, do not hesitate to reach out to the postgraduate leadership team (link to postgrad leadership team website). There are also opportunities for group mentorship through the Upreach Program, which brings residents from PGY1-5 and faculty together informally. Please contact Dr. Nate Charach for more details at UpReachtoronto@gmail.com.
EPhysicianHealth is interactive multi-media based website that offers surveys, video vignettes/advice, information on burnout, suicide, nutrition, and much more. Information provided is up-to-date and directed towards health professionals. The site also includes a list of resources (i.e., books, articles, online, local resources).
Intimidation and Harassment Resources
1. Department Supports
Residents are encouraged to consider chief residents and PRAT representative as supports. Concerns will be addressed in a confidential manner. If the concern involves intimidation and/or Harassment residents are strongly encourage to bring the issue forward to either their staff supervisors, the Program Director, and/or the Committee for Supervisor Evaluation and Support.
2. Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO)
PARO believes that resident intimidation is unacceptable. The PARO-CAHO contract includes policies that protect residents from Intimidation and Harassment. If a resident feels they are being harassed, they can contact the PARO office for information and advice 1.877.979.1183. Calls will remain confidential and the office will not proceed further until you direct them to do so.
For information about resources for COVID-19