The Psychiatry Residency Program hosts a full-day annual retreat in the spring. Residents are excused from all clinical duties during this time. The retreat provides an opportunity for residents to come together in one location and get to know one another in a relaxing, social, non-clinical setting.
The goals of the retreat are outlined as follows:
- To provide a venue for resident bonding within and between classes.
- To create a platform that encourages intellectual curiosity, emotional openness, and self-awareness in residents.
- To provide a formal opportunity for residents to reflect on their growth as individuals, as professionals, and as leaders.
- To foster a sense of co-ownership of the program in residents by reviewing all aspects of the program and eliciting evaluations in a constructive, solution-oriented approach.
Seminars are offered on personal and professional development during the retreat. In addition, residents are encouraged to discuss their experiences over the year and offer suggestions for changes, as well as bring up new and innovative ideas to add to the program. There are also indoor and outdoor challenge courses designed to foster team-building skills and camaraderie among residents. The 2020 resident retreat marked the first virtual retreat in the program’s history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monthly Wellness Activities
The GW residency program supports a diverse set of resident-driven wellness programming that promotes resident wellness by hosting and encouraging engagement in wellness activities, enabling resident bonding over shared interests, sharing wellness resources, and fostering a supportive, inclusive resident community. The resident wellness programming includes:
- Organized group excursions (to local attractions such as theme parks, sporting events, site-seeing, and more)
- Wellness group chat
- Running club and fitness challenges
- Book club
- Cooking classes
- Game nights
- Movie nights
- Holiday celebrations
- Welcome events for PGY-1s
Programs are ever evolving and developed in response to residents’ interests. This programming has proven to be adaptable into virtual formats as needed as we strive to meet the needs dictated by the current time. At least two events are held monthly to allow for maximum participation.
Various process groups are included in the residency structure/curriculum to provide additional opportunities for residents to receive support, encouragement, perspectives, and feedback on the situations and stresses that arise as residents navigate the skill-building process and clinical care of residency:
- Farooq Mohyuddin, MD leads a therapy group (T-group) for PGY-3 residents while they train in outpatient therapy.
- A weekly resident-run process group creates a designated processing space for PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents while they are on rotations at GWU Hospital.
- Peer support groups are created on an as-needed basis to respond to the needs of the GWU resident community.
The Residency Training Committee meetings are held monthly when the representatives of each PGY class come together to meet with the Residency Administration officials. In addition, each class regularly meets as a group with the chief residents and associate program directors. These frequent meetings foster open communication, provide an opportunity for the residents to set their own agenda, allow issues to be addressed in a timely manner and changes to be implemented promptly, and empower the residents to stay involved.
Welcome Dinner for PGY-Is
In addition to the official Intern Orientation Day where the interns learn about the logistics of their upcoming year, a welcome dinner is hosted in the program director’s home for the incoming interns. This intimate setting offers an opportunity for the interns to become better acquainted with each other as well as with the key administration officials (program director, associate program directors, program coordinator, chief residents) on a more personal level.
In addition to multiple avenues for resident support and wellness that are available in the GW psychiatry program, we have a “Buddy” mentorship program for the interns to be paired up with senior residents. This system enables the interns to benefit from the seniors' perspectives on dealing with the challenges of moving to a new city, becoming a doctor, and navigating each training year’s own rewards and challenges, in addition to planning social gatherings and optimizing resident wellness.
Meet-The-Faculty Lunch Series
As part of the residency program's continued efforts to support faculty-resident interaction, the Meet-the-Faculty lunch series is held weekly throughout the first half of the year. The program’s goal is to facilitate the opportunity for interns and residents to personally meet with each core faculty member in the department by bringing the faculty directly to them! In this forum, faculty can get to know each resident in a casual atmosphere, and share with the residents their own educational backgrounds, clinical experiences, areas of interest/expertise, as well as any current academic projects they may be working on. This is a great way for interns and residents to network and find research or other mentorship opportunities by identifying faculty who have similar interests.
Mental Health Services
In addition to the counseling services that are offered through the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME Policy on Resident Counseling Services), the department has created a confidential channel for the residents to obtain affordable access to mental health services in the community. Residents who are interested in these services are to contact Dr. David Joseph, who can further facilitate this process.