UCLA GME WELLBEING POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to promote the physical, emotional, and psychological health and safety of our workforce, specifically our trainees and our faculty. These protocols and standards are intended to support a learning and working environment that emphasizes a culture of respect and accountability for physician well-being so as to deliver the safest and best possible patient care.
This policy applies to all UCLA-sponsored ACGME accredited residency and fellowship programs in all clinical learning environments.
Understanding that psychological, emotional, and physical well-being are critical in the development of competent, caring, and resilient physicians, the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) promotes a clinical learning and working environment that recognizes the importance of proactive attention to trainees’ life inside and outside of medicine. Well-being requires that physicians retain the joy in medicine while managing their own real-life stressors, that self-care and responsibility to support other members of the health care team are important components of professionalism, and that these skills must be modeled, learned, and nurtured in the context of other aspects of residency and fellowship training. Accordingly, GME fosters a clinical learning and working environment that supports the physical, emotional, and psychological health and safety of our physician workforce. Clinical departments and training programs are required to:
- Enhance the experiences of physicians in training by implementing measures such as ensuring appropriate time for physician-patient interactions, minimizing non-physician obligations, providing administrative support, promoting progressive autonomy and flexibility, and enhancing professional relationships.
- Create clinical schedules with attention to work intensity and work compression that may adversely impact the well-being of trainees. In particular,
- Training programs must create clinical and educational work schedules that comply with ACGME clinical and educational work hours guidelines.
- Program leadership must conduct periodic reviews of compliance with clinical and educational work hours guidelines.
- GME will work with programs to modify schedules or clinical experiences that jeopardize compliance with clinical and educational work hours guidelines.
- Individual trainees for whom compliance with clinical and educational work hours guidelines is challenging should be identified by the training program, barriers to compliance should be assessed, and counseling and/or schedule modification provided, as appropriate.
- Continuously evaluate workplace safety data and address issues that affect the safety of our workforce.
- Provide opportunities for trainees to attend to their own medical, mental health, and dental care appointments, including those scheduled during their working hours. Time away from training must be organized in accordance with the GME Leave Policy and with the approval of the Program Director.
- Implement measures to ensure continuity of clinical coverage, including transitions of care, in the event that a trainee is unable to attend work due to fatigue, illness, family emergencies, or parental leave for as long as is necessary. Such measures must include provisions to minimize the potential for retaliation or harassment arising from the trainee’s inability to work.
- Educate faculty and residents/fellows in the identification of the symptoms of burnout, depression, and substance abuse, including means to assist those who experience these conditions. In addition, trainees should also be educated to recognize those symptoms in themselves and how to seek appropriate care. Additionally, residents, fellows, and faculty are encouraged to alert the program director, department chair, DIO, or other designee when they are concerned that another physician may be displaying signs of burnout, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, or potential for violence.
GME provides access to self-screening tools and confidential mental health assessments, counseling, and treatment that is available 24 hours/day and seven days/week.
- All physicians have access to self-screening tools available on the ACGME.org website: https://dl.acgme.org/pages/well-being-tools-resources
- Trainees have access to self-screening tools and other mental health resources through the UCLA Behavioral Wellness Center: https://medschool.ucla.edu/faculty-and-staff/wellness/behavioral-wellness-center
- Trainees have access to health, dental, vision and disability resources, and additional emotional health resources through the UC Resident Benefits package described at: https://ucresidentbenefits.com/uc-los-angeles
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
APPROVED: April 25, 2022