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Leadership and Well-Being in Medicine Elective Rotation


The Physician Leadership and Well-Being in Medicine Elective is a two-week elective held annually in the first two weeks of December for residents and fellows across all specialties who are interested in learning more about self-care, resiliency, interdisciplinary collaboration, healing, and communication. Participants have the opportunity to engage in didactic and experiential learning aimed at fostering meaningful connection with patients and colleagues, exploring wellness literature, and decreasing burnout.

2024 Dates: December 2-December 13

*Residents who have longitudinal outpatient clinics should please request Friday afternoon clinics to minimize missing didactic/experiential time. If your schedule only permits you to attend part of the course, let us know and we'll do everything we can to accommodate your participation.

Please email Katie Gradick to register for this course.

Course Leads:

Rob Davies, PhD,, Director, GME Wellness
Katie Gradick, MD, MHS,, GME Physician Wellness Champion
Amy Armstrong,, GME Wellness Coordinator

Goals and Objectives

I. Patient Care

  1. Build skills that strengthen one’s ability to provide patient-centered care with compassion and presence.
  2. Enhance patient care by equipping participants with tools to enhance provider resiliency and decrease burnout.

II. Medical Knowledge

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to acquiring the knowledge base needed to promote self-care, balance, and wellness among colleagues.
  2. Provide effective patient and family education/support around grief, spirituality, perception, and medical error.

III. Interpersonal Skills and Communication

  1. Develop effective communication skills that result in both information exchange and creation of therapeutic alliances with patients, families, nursing staff, physicians, chaplains, social workers, and other health care team members.
  2. Participate in didactic sessions with experts in topics such as basic communication, delivering bad news, defining goals of care, responding to emotion, and eliciting voices from patients, particularly in the face of institutional or personal power differentials.
  3. Recognize signs of burnout and practice strategies for asking for help and support.
  4. Identify the ways in which stressful communication can contribute to burnout.
  5. Explore causes of conflict and practice tools for addressing conflict with a growth mindset.

IV. Professionalism

  1. Demonstrate commitment to self-care, reflection, interdisciplinary collaboration, and learning.
  2. Engage with interdisciplinary colleagues with respect, appreciation, and curiosity.

V. Practice Based Learning and Improvement

  1. Demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate the care of patients, appraise scientific evidence and continually improve patient care. Develop skills and habits that promote self-evaluation and life-long learning.
  2. Provide timely feedback sessions offered during the rotation.
  3. Discuss goals, expectations, and research plans at the start of the rotation to discuss goals and expectations.
  4. Meet with the course director at the end of the rotation to give and receive feedback.
  5. Complete assigned summative rotation evaluations in a timely manner.

VI. Systems Based Practice

  1. Gain experience in practicing high quality care by learning about and incorporating concepts of value, equity, and satisfaction within the context of our hospital and health care system.
  2. Advocate for high quality inpatient and outpatient care, particularly for underserved populations.

Resident Expectations

  1. The elective will take place in person if this is felt to be safe at the time the course is
    offered based on public health recommendations. Otherwise, the course will be held over Zoom. Participants are expected to attend scheduled sessions. There is never an expectation to participate if a resident feels uncomfortable (alternative experiences can be arranged).
  2. Participants will continue to attend his or her own continuity clinic (ideally scheduled for Friday afternoons if possible). Likewise, the resident will attend their programs conferences, including morning report and noon conferences, if applicable.
  3. Participants are encouraged to reflect on challenging and meaningful patient interactions perform literature searches and review pertinent literature regarding such interactions.

Sample Schedule (subject to change each year)

Week 1

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
10a-12p 10a-12p 10a-12p 10a-12p 10a-12p
Welcome and Orientation/Goal setting Self-Compassion Occupational Trauma and Recovery Nature Walk, local garden/canyon Conflict resolution
1p-3:30p 1p-3:30p 1p-3:30p 1p-3:30p  
Personality and Learning styles Burnout/Suicide Prevention/Peer Support Art Workshop Cooking Class at Harmon's Research/Clinic afternoon

Week 2

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
10a-12p 10a-12p 10a-12p 10a-12p 10a-12p
Arts and Humanities - Poetry as Self-Care, Narrative Medicine Difficult Conversations

Medical Error
Taking the Fear our of Feedback Storytelling as Connection  Closing Activities
1p-3:30p 1p-3:30p 1p-3:30p 1p-3:30p  
Setting Boundaries

Grief in Medicine
Values Clarification Exercise

Mindful Practice Visual observation at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Research/Clinic afternoon

Participant Feedback 

  • "This rotation is amazing. I will take peace, connection, compassion, understanding, wellness, and mindfulness away from this course.”
  • “I'll take away a renewed sense of well-being, self-worth, and strategies to help both myself and others for when burnout flares up again.”
  • “One take away from the course is to try and take daily moments to pause, be present, and reassure myself that I am enough. I am learning and there will be a non-linear route to success (although success is unique to each individual and that's okay!).”

100% of participants in the past 5 years agreed that the course was worth their time.

Read more about the GME Physician Leadership and Well-Being in Medicine Elective in the U Health University of Utah Accelerate article:

From Culture Shock to Culture Shift: Learning To Improve Resident Well-being