Northeast Georgia Medical Center is committed to the mental and physical health and wellness of all our residents, physicians and staff.
Residency can be an inherently stressful time in the career of a physician, and the well-being of our resident physicians is something we take very seriously at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Declines in physician well-being are linked to lower quality patient care and patient satisfaction, increased errors, and decreased health system performance. Our goal is to ensure that our residents are equipped with the tools and resources that enable them to be their best so they can provide the highest quality care for our patients.
“In the current healthcare environment, residents and faculty members are at increased risk for burnout and depression. Psychological, emotional, and physical well-being are critical in the development of the competent, caring, and resilient physician. Self-care is an important component of professionalism; it is also a skill that must be learned and nurtured in the context of other aspects of residency training. Programs….have the same responsibility to address well-being as they do to evaluate other aspects of resident competence.”
– ACGME Common Program Requirements, Section VI
Northeast Georgia Health System prides itself on four core values, all of which help us achieve our mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. These values shape the daily interactions between our physicians and residents, faculty, staff, volunteers, board members, patients, and their loved ones.
Our Core Values are also embedded in how we prioritize the overall well-being of our residents. Each component of our wellness curriculum and programming is directly influenced by one or more of the Core Values.
Residents will participate in the required bi-monthly Cornerstones of Resident Education (CORE) Didactic Series in which they will engage in meaningful activities and discussion on well-being topics. The wellness curriculum is developed using evidence-based research and is carefully curated to provide the most meaningful and applicable information, tools, and experiences to our residents.
In addition to the required CORE sessions, residents will have opportunities to join committees and participate in other voluntary events designed to foster connection between fellow residents, faculty, staff, and their partners and families.
Topics and activities include:
- Sleep & Fatigue
- Mental Health Risks
- Financial Well-Being
- Fitness & Nutrition
- Stress Management Techniques
- Work-Life Management
- Humanism & Meaning in Medicine
- Team Building & Professional Identity
- Maintaining a Culture of Wellness
- Interactive Physician Panels
- Welcome Picnic
- Social Outings
- Support Groups
- Birthday & Special Occasion Celebrations
- Housestaff Organization
- GMEC Wellness Subcommittee
- Resident Mentoring Program
The Resident Assistance Program (RAP) is a free, confidential counseling and support service delivered through our in-house Employee Assistance Program. Designed to address the unique challenges and stressors commonly experienced by residents, the Resident Assistance Program strives to support residents’ personal and professional well-being as they develop and refine their practice and professional identities. Services are brief, confidential, and solution-focused. Counseling records are housed within the EAP client information system and are not accessible to other providers or employees within NGHS.
At NGMC GME, we believe that attention to emotional and mental health should be no different than that of one’s physical health. Therefore, residents are automatically enrolled in the Resident Assistance Program upon their arrival to NGMC, similar to auto-enrollment in insurance and other standard employee benefits. Participation in RAP consists of two well-being check-in visits each year with our in-house licensed psychologist. Residents may opt out of the program at any time, and their performance evaluations are not affected by participation in the RAP.
Residents may also self-refer to any individual RAP services including traditional counseling, professional coaching, or consultation to determine appropriate interventions based on their needs. Recommendations may include opportunities for performance coaching, traditional counseling for personal emotional issues and general life stressors, or at times, issues that may be organizationally- or community-based (e.g. cultural isolation, organizational understanding, etc.). Residents needing longer-term counseling or more specialized treatment may be referred to a community provider through their insurance.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
NGHS Resident Assistance Program:
The following screening tools may be used to explore possible mental health risks, but should not be used as a substitute for professional assessment or treatment. If you would like to discuss your results with a mental health professional, please schedule an appointment with the Resident Assistance Program.
Holly Stewart, BSW, MSOL
Director of Resident Wellness
Holly holds a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Organization Development at the University of Georgia. She has over 10 years’ experience working in advocacy and support roles with medical and health professions students and trainees. Holly is passionate about helping individuals thrive in their educational, professional, and personal lives.
Mac Hafele, PhD
Neuropsychologist, NGHS Employee Assistance Program
Dr. Hafele is a licensed psychologist and is experienced in providing counseling services to medical students and hospital faculty, staff, and residents. Prior to arriving at NGHS, Dr. Hafele was employed with Emory University and Emory Healthcare’s Faculty Staff Assistance Program. She is a former U.S. Marine, is board certified as a Traumatic Stress Expert, and is an Advanced Conflict Mediator.