Improving medical
resident wellness

Resident Wellness Program

Research and Strategy
Service Design
Social Impact

Taking care of the caretakers

People are drawn to the field of medicine in order to serve, and medical students are fully ready to sacrifice themselves to the rigors of residency. But this takes a toll — physician burnout can lead to poorer patient care and increased medical errors, as well as increased rates of substance abuse, suicide, and intent to leave practice. A leading east coast hospital and medical school asked Daylight to help them do something about this.

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Prioritizing wellness

By immersing ourselves in this intense world and listening to residents' stories, we found that Maslow's hierarchy of needs was oddly inverted for these medical professionals. They had a profound sense of purpose, but were having trouble taking care of their own basic needs such as water and food.

"My first year as a resident, I rarely had time to eat. When I did, there'd be nothing healthy around."  Clinical Fellow

"I'm okay with working hard, but when it affects my family I struggle. There were spouses who'd get together and call themselves the insignificant others."  Senior Resident

A suite of interventions

Daylight developed 16 interventions — everything from fueling residents with healthy portable snacks to providing package delivery at the hospital. These interventions were designed to fit into the residents' busy lives and to enhance rather than interfere with the rigors of residency. Our client rolled out the first round of interventions on their campus and presented the suite of interventions as a toolkit during a national conference for internal medicine programs. They continue work tracking efficacy and improvement to inspire other institutions across the country.