Improving Mental Health Support, Career Transitions and Access to Health Care for Surgical Residents

Jillian Wothe, Laura Bosacker, Harika Nalluri, Michael J Cullen, Melissa E. Brunsvold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To increase access to mental health support, assist with career transitions, and improve access to health care. DESIGN: Retrospective survey data. SETTING: General surgery residency program. PARTICIPANTS: Surgical residents. RESULTS: We developed three programs to address the issues above. The “Fifth Tuesday of the Month” program allows residents to take time off during the first Tuesday morning of any month with five Tuesdays. The Physician Wellness Collaborative provides confidential, affordable, and easy-to-access counseling resources for residents. Residents are automatically signed up for a session to establish care. The Peer Resident Mentorship Program matches a fourth-year resident with a first-year resident based on personal and professional interests to help ease the transition and improve career satisfaction. All programs were associated with improvement in related outcome measures on our institution's annual program evaluation survey. CONCLUSIONS: At our institution, we introduced three simple and accessible programs aimed at increasing access to mental health support, assisting with career transitions, and improving work-life balance. These programs have improved related outcomes in our residents and can be easily implemented at any program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-289
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number2
Early online dateOct 1 2021
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Association of Program Directors in Surgery


  • Mental Health
  • Mentors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work-Life Balance


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