Spectrum Health is committed to the wellness of our residents and fellows. Being a physician is a higher calling and honorable profession. It can be extremely rewarding, yet emotionally and physically exhausting. Psychological, emotional, and physical well-being are critical in the development of the competent, caring and resilient physician. We are dedicated to improving the learning environment to achieve a culture of respect and accountability for physician well-being.

We recognize that residents are at high risk for burnout. This can be associated with depression and other psychologic concerns. If you are struggling, please reach out to your chief residents, program coordinators or program directors. You are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of our employee assistance program, Encompass.

Our resident and fellow wellness subcommittee works to foster a culture of wellness, support and collaboration in which Spectrum Health residents and fellows can thrive. Initiatives focus on these four areas:

  • Self-care
  • Building community and camaraderie
  • Professional fulfillment
  • Mental health support

The subcommittee meets regularly and all residents, fellows and faculty are invited to join the group. Please email resident wellness to get involved and keep an eye out for our monthly newsletter! 

At Spectrum Health, we recognize the importance of mental and physical health. Here are some examples and resources we offer Spectrum Health and Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital residents and fellows:
  • Resident lounges are stocked with healthy snacks
  • Join the Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club to stay active and have fun!
  • Visit Find a Doc to find a primary care physician. Use Spectrum Health Now for 24/7/365 primary care and therapy video visits. We encourage all residents to take time to care for their own mental and physical health. All residents are encouraged to have a primary care physician and dentist. 
  • MyConcierge is a free service provided to Spectrum Health physicians. It can help you with personal activities such as, picking up dry-cleaning, sending flowers, mailing packages, etc.
  • Enjoy discounts provided by hundreds of local and national businesses for Spectrum Health employees
Providing an environment that fosters community and camaraderie helps build strong relationships. Here are a few ways we engage with you and your family to build a meaningful relationship:
  • Practical Medicine 101 - An educational and social event series that focuses on topics that are not typically taught in residency such as job acquisition, contracts and negotiations, medical malpractice, financial wellness, etc.
  • Club Med - A program that provides activities for residents/fellows and their families. This program acts as a support system to help acclimate you with West Michigan, while showing you a great time. Each month there are three events: 1) Resident Recreation for residents/fellows and significant others 2) Med Mates for significant others of residents/fellows, and 3) Kids Time for the entire family.
  • Wellness Week - Week-long celebration of appreciation and wellness for our residents. Last year included, yoga, culinary medicine, dodgeball, social events and a Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game.
  • Wellness Events - Various wellness events are ongoing throughout the year.
Career Coaching: Encompass offers professional coaching services as part of the employee assistant benefit. Take advantage of this opportunity to help guide you through life decisions, transitions, or to offer support as a professional in training!
Business Medicine Rotation: A two-week elective rotation available to all Spectrum Health residents and fellows. The goal of the rotation is to provide Spectrum Health residents and fellows the opportunity to learn about business and leadership opportunities in the field of medicine to gain experience navigating an outpatient office, large health care system, and/or an academic medical center.
Practical Medicine 101: An educational and social event series that focuses on topics that are not typically taught in residency such as job acquisition, contracts and negotiations, medical malpractice, financial wellness, etc. Dinner is provided and significant others are encouraged to attend.
Schwartz Rounds: Confidential, facilitated sessions where health care providers and employees can safely discuss the emotional and social issues they face in patient care.
CISM: The Critical Incident Stress Management team is a group of trained facilitators who are available to facilitate confidential debriefing sessions after a critical patient event.   

Physician and APP Mini Grant Program: The Physician and APP Mini Grant Program provides physicians and APPs an opportunity to brainstorm and propose innovative ideas to improve and impact work-life balance. Select ideas will be funded and implemented. 

Culinary Medicine Rotation: Culinary Medicine is an evidence-based specialty that aligns the development of hands-on culinary skills with medical nutrition knowledge. The purpose is to increase resident exposure to counseling and treating patients with diet related diseases, including but not limited to obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurocognition and cancer. During this elective, the link between diet and disease will be explored while learning to prepare and prescribe flavorful nutrient-dense food. Learn more about culinary medicine here
Encompass is an employee assistance program and your link to free information, resources, confidential support, and referrals on most any concern that you may experience, whether personal or work related.
Examples that Encompass can assist with: 
  • Stress management, grief, and loss
  • Professional coaching services
  • Marriage & family relationship counseling
  • Mental Health
  • Violence & Crisis
  • Child Care/Elder Care resources & referrals
  • Legal Services & Financial Counseling
  • Online forms & document templates ready for use
Encompass provides seven free sessions PER family member with extended hours until 8 p.m. and phone consultation and Skype capability. There are 15 locations available with three convenient locations:
  • Masonic Center Building (Downtown Grand Rapids) | 233 East Fulton St. Ste 126
  • East Beltline (The Pines Office Park) | 4829 East Beltline Ave. NE, Bldg 1
  • Spectrum Health South Pavilion | 80 – 68th St SE, Ste 302B
To learn more about Encompass, visit Encompass (username: spectrum), e-mail, or call 1-800-788-8630.
Program Wellness Sessions: Each year our residents and fellows participate in wellness curriculum lead by a wellness program champion. Sessions include didactic and small group work. Topics have included burnout, resiliency tools, and physician depression and suicide.

Self-Assessment Tools

There are different assessment tools available to residents and fellows that help assess their individual risk for burnout, fatigue, depression and mental/physical quality of life. Here are some you will become familiar with:

  • Maslach Burnout Inventory - Confidential assessment tool available to all Spectrum Health residents and fellows
  • Well-being Index: The 7-question Well-Being Index was invented by the Mayo Clinic for residents and fellows as a validated screening tool to evaluate fatigue, depression, burnout, anxiety/stress, and mental/physical quality of life.
  • Depression Screening: Residents and fellows are at higher risk for depression than the general population. It is important to identify and get the help you need. Assess yourself for depression with this screening toolIf you have concerns about your results, counseling and support is available 24/7 through Encompass.
  • Mindfulness is an effective resiliency tool. Test yourself with this Mindfulness Quiz.
  • Stress management: How are you handling your stress? Take this Stress Screen to assess and learn tips on stress management.

DIMENSIONS: Work & Well-Being Toolkit for Physicians was developed by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine, Behavioral Health and Wellness Program, in September, 2014. The University of Colorado Anshultz Medical Campus School of Medicine has given us permission to utilize their program. A selection of tools are available for download below.