As pediatricians, we spend a significant amount of time counseling patients and families on how to live healthier lives. We’re mindful that the challenging situations we encounter during residency may sometimes make it difficult for us to feel physically and mentally healthy ourselves. Our program is committed to resident wellness, and has created the below toolkit of resources for our residents to promote and protect well-being within and outside of the hospital. We’re proud that many of these were resident-led initiatives! Explore some of our current initiatives below, with other examples including an on-site gym, program-provided lunches, meal cards, and reflection sessions with each other.

Free Time for Wellness (FTW)

During most two-week call rotations, residents have one protected afternoon for wellness. These are scheduled amongst teams before the block starts, and allow time for our residents to decompress and rejuvenate. This may include medical and dental appointments, errands, time by the lake, therapy, or whatever else we may need!

Resident Health Initiative

Created by UChicago GME, this program provides convenient assistance with booking urgent and routine appointments for primary and specialty care for our residents.

Bring Yourself to Work

Founded by Dr. Reem Itani (prior Chief Resident), this series of lectures provides space for residents, faculty, and other Comer employees to learn about each other’s diverse life experiences and rich assortment of talents and passions. We cherish these opportunities to get to know one another on a more personal level.

Examples of prior lectures:

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

Second Saturdays

Started in 2017 Dr. Meagan Appleman (former resident), Second Saturdays are social events organized by our social and community service chairs to foster camaraderie amongst all classes and volunteer around Chicago. Previous gatherings have included:

  • Scavenger hunt downtown
  • Karaoke in Chinatown
  • Community service events around the South Side
  • Beach days
  • Bowling, AceBounce Ping Pong, Whirlyball

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!

Intern Retreat 

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

Social and Community Service Chairs

Class of 2022: Sam Millikan and Bako Orionzi
Class of 2023: Rachael Herriman, Kali Kramolis, Parina Maniar, and Monica Pomaville
Class of 2024: To be elected during intern retreat!

Have ideas?

Our residents play an integral role in improving our program, and we’re always looking to continue growing! Email the Chiefs with any ideas you have!

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