Support and Wellness
The Pediatric Residency Program has a multi-layered approach to monitoring resident stress and providing counseling and support services to residents. Each resident has a faculty advisor with whom he/she is expected to meet with three times per year. The faculty advisors and Program Director maintain an “open door” policy, encouraging residents to share personal or programmatic concerns on an ad hoc basis. The majority of stressful situations in which the faculty advisors and/or Program Director have had to intervene in have been personal rather than programmatic. Full psychological and psychiatric counseling is available to all residents and is covered under the resident’s health benefits. The program has been successful in dealing with the issue of financial stress to the extent that, with programmatic support, a number of residents have been able to secure AAP resident financial scholarships. The program has a robust resident driven Wellness Committee and Curriculum that sponsors events, seminars, and engages trainees in a variety of topics and endeavors focused on building resilience and balance. Past activities have included focuses on stress reduction, work-life balance, healthy eating and meal prep choices, mental health, diversity and inclusion training, and grief management workshops.
There are also institutional supports for the residents such as The House Staff Council whose mission is to improve patient care and graduate medical education by facilitating communication between the residents, the university, the hospitals, and our community. The council is made up of four officers and representatives from each department. Pediatric residents have served the past two years as officers on this council. The council interacts with the faculty through the Working Environment Subcommittee of the Graduate Medical Education Committee with many important issues being handled here including those involving on-call meals, call room and workspace requirements, and resident safety in and around our facilities.
Living in San Antonio
San Antonio offers a wonderful array of attractions to fill your days and nights with entertainment, exploration, education, and just plain fun! The top tourist destination in the state of Texas, San Antonio offers something for everyone including the world-renowned San Antonio Riverwalk, the Alamo and Texas Missions, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and many nationally recognized spas and resorts. Schlitterbahn, the number one water park in the United States, is only 30 minutes north in New Braunfels, and the Gulf Coast is only 100 miles away. Working ranches throughout Central and South Texas are available for tours, horseback riding, and overnight stays. Numerous state parks offer opportunities for hiking in the rugged terrain of the Hill Country.
Residents have both formal and informal opportunities for developing esprit de corps during their residency training. Our residency program prides itself on the collegial and family feel of our program. Interns participate in a three-day weekend retreat in the Texas Hill Country for interpersonal team building. PGY 2 residents have an annual day-long retreat for orientation, examining career options, and receiving information on medical licensure and related matters with a dinner to follow. In June, residents at all levels participate in the annual PGY 3 graduation and end of year celebration.
We are a family of friends, colleagues, peers, learners, teachers, and physicians. As a family we navigate an often complex system to ensure our patients receive the best care possible. As we work hard together in the clinical world, we also support spending time as a family rejuvenating ourselves through self-care and social activities at work and outside of the hospital walls. Below are just a few social activities we host each year but this is certainly not an all-inclusive list!
Intern Welcome Event
Welcome and introductory party for our new interns and current residents hosted by a rising PGY 2 to help acquaint our family in a casual and friendly atmosphere.
The fall retreat is intended to bring our first year residents together to establish teamwork and to develop strategies for making their residency positive from both a professional and personal standpoint. This retreat teaches our trainees how to communicate with peers, nurses, faculty, and patient families, work in teams, and become the best UT trainees and future alumni they can be.
End of Year Celebration
This event is held every June to celebrate the completion of residency for our upper level trainees, but also to acknowledge the hard work of our residents and faculty throughout the year.
Annual Resident vs. Faculty Kickball Game
This beloved event occurs each spring between pediatric residents and faculty. All proceeds from the game go to the outpatient clinic’s Reach Out and Read Program to purchase books for each and every one of our patients! The game is followed by a social picnic, a department-wide family event, and we encourage everyone to bring the kids and enjoy a day of eating, visiting, games, sports, and lots more.
Resident Appreciation Events
Each year the House Staff Office team puts together a fall and spring resident appreciation event to celebrate our family by refocusing on self-care and team membership outside of the clinical learning environment.
Scholarship and Conference Attendance
The department supports the participation in all major national pediatric conferences with representatives from our program acting as leaders for AAP, TPS, PHM, and many more!
The goal of the Resident Wellness Committee is to make trainees WELL aware of how to build self-resilience through knowledge, communication, skill-building, and positive reinforcement in our fast-paced and high-stress environment. Throughout the year, the committee hosts multiple lectures to include two wellness themed weeks!
Our Annual Departmental Holiday Gathering brings together faculty, trainees, and staff with their families in an informal and family-friendly way to share a warm time!
A residency that socializes together, stays together! The real family are the members acting in the role of resident. Our trainees pride themselves on their closeness in sharing the ups, downs, celebrations, and memorials that life has to offer over three years. These events are planned by the residents for the residents.