As pediatricians, we spend a significant amount of time counseling patients and parents on how to live healthier lives. We encounter a variety of challenging situations with children and their families. Our program is committed to our residents’ wellness during your development as pediatricians.

Resources include immediate access to mental health and medical appointments, an on-site gym, protected daytime off during call months, and program-sponsored retreats, conferences, and reflection sessions with your colleagues. Explore some of the initiatives and events which we currently offer within our program:

Free Time for Wellness (FTW)

On select call rotations, residents have one protected afternoon for wellness. The FTW afternoon is protected time for people to recover, decompress, and get well. This may include running errands, going to an appointment, taking a nap, making a meal, seeing the sun (or snow), or anything else the resident might need.

Resident Health Initiative

The University of Chicago GME designed this program to facilitate residents and fellows accessing health care. Trainees may email and indicate “appointment request” in the subject line; your email should include: patient name, DOB, callback name & number, reason for visit, and name of insurance. For urgent appointment requests, text page the Resident Health Advocate at 9800; your text page should include a call back name & number.

Bring Yourself to Work (BY2W)

Founded at UCM in 2018 by our former Pediatric Chief Resident, Dr. Reem Itani, who wanted to inspire and encourage residents to continue to pursuits beyond medicine and feel supported to share them with their colleagues. This morning lecture series highlights interests, hobbies, and passions of our residents, fellows, attendings, nurses, and other Comer staff. This series has been met with rave reviews and has allowed everyone to get to know one another on a deeper, more personal level. Examples of previous sessions include:

  • Gary Fernando (Primary Care Attending): Disney and Childhood Apraxia
  • Stephanie Liou (Resident): Money-Saving Hacks
  • Karen Goldstein (APD): Bringing Art to Work
  • Melissa Baltuano (Child Neuro Fellow): Cupcake Decorations
  • Misun Jung, Leslie Mataya, Robert Sanchez (Residents) & Jonathan Tutko (Music Therapist): Bringing Music to Work

Second Saturdays

Started in 2017 by former resident Dr. Meagan Appleman, this program is now organized by the social/community service chairs of each residency class to foster camaraderie amongst all classes. Hosted on the second Saturday of each month, this event is always a hit! Previous gatherings include:

  • Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Chicago
  • Karaoke in Chinatown
  • Community Service events including with “Volunteering Untapped” in Hyde Park
  • Beach days in the summertime
  • Bowling, AceBounce Ping Pong, Whirlyball

Intern Retreat and Move-Up Days

During the winter of PGY1 year, all clinical responsibilities for intern residents are covered for 2 days while they travel off-site to a program-sponsored retreat along with program leadership. Residents have the opportunity to participate in activities that enhance communication and teamwork, while also recharging and reconnecting with their classmates.

Prior to the beginning of each academic year, the PGY1 and PGY2 classes participate in Move-Up Days to learn tips and tricks on how to be a senior resident, how to survive calls, and how to prepare for the board exam, as well as how to successfully apply to fellowship or jobs after residency.

Holiday Party

Every holiday season, all residents are given one night off of clinical responsibilities to celebrate with each other at a program-sponsored event. Fellows and attendings graciously cover the inpatient services on this night. This night out in the Windy City features food and dancing, and it is always a big hit!

Social and Community Service Chairs

Class of 2021: Erin Cohen, Vidya Govind, and Natalie Munger
Class of 2022: Sam Millikan and Bako Orionzi
Class of 2023: Rachael Herriman, Kali Kramolis, Parina Maniar, and Monica Pomaville

Got Ideas?

Our program is very open and receptive to resident ideas on improving work-life integration. Our Resident Education Council and House Staff Meetings emphasize improving resident wellness, so we welcome your ideas! You can email the chiefs and social/community service chairs, or submit your idea on the Program/REC Suggestion Form.

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