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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 85-95

Supporting resident wellness through reflection on professional identity: A novel curriculum

Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Diana Toubassi
Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto, 440 Bathurst Street, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5T 2S6
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_1_22

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Background: Interventions to address distress among medical trainees often include reflective practice, as well as peer support. Few, however, have emphasized the role of professional identity formation, increasingly recognized as critical to wellness. The structural aspects of curricular interventions have also received little attention. A novel curriculum was therefore designed and evaluated with the goal of understanding how best to support resident wellness through reflection on professional identity. Materials and Methods: The curriculum consisted of 8 2-hour sessions, each focusing on a theme commensurate with residents’ professional identity at the time of its delivery. Two Family Medicine sites at the University of Toronto participated, with residents divided into small groups by residency year. Qualitative data were collected through feedback forms, and resident and faculty focus groups, transcripts of which were subjected to pragmatic thematic analysis. Results: Four major themes were developed relating to 1) the curriculum’s ability to support resident wellness, 2) the importance of protecting reflection, 3) the impact of participants’ professional developmental stage, and 4) the critical role of facilitators. Conclusions: A curriculum encouraging reflection on professional identity appears to support resident wellness. To optimize impact, structural factors such as robust curricular integration, confidentiality and group member continuity, require care.

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