Wellness Week

Emergency Medicine Wellness Week: An international collaboration & call to action!

In Education & Quality Improvement, Featured by Fareen Zaver MD2 Comments

Calling ALL Emergency Medicine physicians – residents and attendings!

It shouldn’t take tragedy for us to recognize the importance of wellness. Our specialty is known to be high risk and it is surprising that we are so late to the game to try and change that. We believe that, together, we can keep each other well. We are a strong group of people. We see, hear, touch, and smell things that would make the average person vomit. We are problem solvers and leaders.

With that in mind, welcome to the FIRST annual Canadian Emergency Wellness Week! In 2016, our American colleagues started the first wellness week making EM the first medical specialty to nationally promote physical, mental, and emotional health. The initiative has had far-reaching implications and many wellness activities have come from it – many of which have become ingrained in the yearly activities of various departments.

This year, we are combining the influence of prominent Emergency Medicine websites including Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM), CanadiEM, and HippoEM with the strength of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) to present a wellness week that YOU can participate in.

What you may have missed

Last week, ALiEM hosted a joint Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME)-ALiEM virtual medical education journal club, featuring a paper by Dr. Kristin Raj on: “Systematic Analysis on Wellness Initiatives for Resident Wellness [PDF]” with the author Dr. Raj. Read the synopsis and discussion on the blog post on the featured paper and latest #JGMEscholar tweets.

What can I do right now?

  • Resident Wellness Consensus Summit
    • Essentials of Emergency Medicine is excited to announce that we are partnering with EMRA, ALiEM, and the Wellness Think Tank to produce an exciting new event exclusively for residents. Our Resident Wellness Consensus Summit will be free to registered Essentials of EM resident attendees, and will take place on May 15, 2017. This event will feature discussions, workgroups, and consensus-based action plans on a range of resident wellness topics. The conference proceedings will be published in The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. Space is limited, so register for Essentials now to reserve your space.
  • Apply to Hippo EM’s Medical Education Fellowship
    • EM residents in North America can apply to win an all-expense paid Essentials of Emergency Medicine scholarship. For full event schedule and faculty lineup, visit: https://www.essentialsofem.com/course/2017
    • Canadian applicants can get details on applying here
  • Wellness task
    • As outlined below, from January 22-28 there will be a simple wellness task announced each day. Tweet a picture of you participating to @CaepResidents using the hashtag #CAEPWellness2017 or, if you prefer, email us at [email protected]. Get your emergency resident colleagues to do the same and tag your program! At the end of the week a wellness survey will be released and the residency program with the most participation will be awarded a prize they can put towards a wellness activity for their program.

How can I follow along with Wellness Week?

January 23, 2017: Residency Wellness Program Initiatives

Check out AliEM for low cost, high-value wellness initiatives that have worked in residency programs around North America. These initiatives can be modified to fit your institution whether it be academic or community. The initiatives been compiled by the ALiEM Wellness Think Tank, which is a collaboration between residents from North American Emergency Medicine residency programs and faculty experienced in residency education, wellness, and resiliency.

January 24, 2017: 30 minutes? That’s enough to stay well

Return to CanadiEM to read how some of our Wellness Experts stay well and incorporate wellness into their day! Only got 30 minutes of free time? Not to worry. We’ll hook you up with some tips and tricks that touch on the different aspects of wellness, so you can find what works best for you.

January 25, 2017: Debriefing Critical Incidents

This month’s Wellness and Resiliency in Residency series post on ALiEM features the topic of Debriefing Critical Incidents by Dr. Arlene Chung. It also includes a podcast featuring Dr. Ilene Claudius, the ever-popular pediatric emergency medicine expert, who talks about her residency experience, the secret ingredients that made it so great, and the humanity in giving bad news. These conversations are a sneak peak into the first ever Resident Wellness Consensus Summit on May 15, 2017 at the Essentials of EM Course in Las Vegas.

January 26, 2017: Share a photo today

We want to see what you are doing this week! Take to Twitter and share a picture of how you or your program is staying well and celebrating Wellness Week! It could be an exercise, a healthy food you enjoyed during the week, some artwork you’ve created, social events, or any other wellness activity. Include the hashtag #wellnessweek, @CAEPResidents, @ACEPWellness, and/or @ALiEMteam so we can compile them and feature them in an upcoming post!

January 27, 2017: Physicians as Humans

Physicians as Humans is an ongoing blog on CanadiEM put together by Niresha Velmurugiah, an emergency medicine resident at the University of Alberta. The podcast explores true stories on how people in medicine reconcile personal crises such as addictions and mental health issues, with their positions as caregivers, educators, and authority figures. In this week’s episode, she reads a Canadian emergency physician’s personal account of coming to terms with her depression.

January 28, 2017: Highlights of Wellness Initiatives

Come back to CanadiEM to see highlights of the amazing initiatives completed during our first annual Wellness Week!

What resources are out there for me to learn more?

There are a number of amazing organizations that have published valuable wellness resources, and we want to highlight some of those resources here! There is a wealth of information and a number of expert perspectives to explore.

OrganizationSocial Media LinksResources
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) @CAEPResidents



Home website

Canadian Wellness resources



Home website

Physicians as Humans [podcast]

ACEP Wellness Section@ACEPWellness


Home website

Sign up for daily emails during Wellness Week.

ALiEM and Wellness Think Tank@ALiEMteam


ALiEM home website

Wellness Think Tank website

Blogs posts:

Wellness Think Tank podcasts:

Council of EM Residency Directors (CORD)@CORD_EM


Home website

CORD blog website

Blog posts

Hippo EM: Essentials of EM@EssentialsofEM

Facebook: HippoEM
Facebook: Essentials of EM

  • The Happy MD’s Guide to Physician Wellness [podcast] by Dike Drummond, MD and Rob Orman, MD. How do we change the culture of medicine, so that we aren’t caring just about patients but also caring about ourselves and each other?
  • The Schedule Hack [podcast] by Dike Drummond, MD and Rob Orman, MD. Managing your job isn’t as hard as you think, but it takes a strategy and commitment.
  • Physician Burnout [podcast] by Dike Drummond, MD and Rob Orman, MD. Most of us will face some degree of burnout during our careers. The trick is to recognize it and grow from there.

Fareen Zaver MD

Fareen Zaver is an Emergency Physician based in Calgary. She is the Co-Director for the CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellowship and is the Lead Editor/Co-Founder of ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources - Professional (AIR-Pro) series