Wellness

We are committed to fostering an environment that promotes resident wellness while providing outstanding training. This attention to well-being is critical to career satisfaction, helping our residents provide better care to their patients and work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams. We accomplish this goal by nurturing personal wellness through building relationships in and outside of the hospital and focusing on self-care.


Wellness days and days off

Residents have at least 6 days off per 4 weeks of work during both inpatient and outpatient activities (an increase from the 4 days mandated by the ACGME). In addition, residents on electives and outpatient rotations are given at least one morning or afternoon per rotation free of clinical activities for further self-care such as medical or dental appointments, more opportunities to exercise, or pursue other extracurricular interests. For more consolidated time to recharge, our residents have 4 weeks of vacation each academic year and an additional week of wellness time off around either the Christmas or New Year’s holiday.  PGY-2 residents take 2-week blocks of vacation in each half of the academic year. PGY-3 and 4 residents can take 1-week or 2-week blocks of vacation with at least one week of vacation in each half of the academic year. Opportunities to travel on vacation were obviously limited in 2020 due to COVID-19 and our residents were given the opportunity to defer vacation to later in their residency to optimize their vacation experiences. We are committed to residents being able to attend important life events. In addition to the above wellness days, vacation blocks, and time off around Christmas or New Year’s, residents are able to request two additional weekends that are guaranteed to be off to attend important events with family and friends.

Advanced Doctoring curriculum

Each resident class participates in a confidential Advanced Doctoring curriculum, staffed by external facilitators who guide residents in reflecting on the challenges of their new role as physician and neurologist. Our PGY-2 residents meet as a class twice per month, the PGY-3 residents monthly, and the PGY-4 residents monthly. This fosters a strong sense of connection within the residency class. When COVID-19 created novel challenges to our resident’s experiences such as anxiety about how to safely provide high quality patient care, our advanced doctoring curriculum frequency was increased to provide our residents with additional support. To connect residents across classes, we have a yearly resident-organized retreat with yoga, games, apple picking, and discussions about improving their training environment.

Relationships with colleagues outside the hospital

The University of Pennsylvania Neurology Department organizes multiple events for residents and faculty to interact outside of work, including brewery outings, Phillies games, theater trips, barbecues, departmental intramural teams, an annual ski trip, and a faculty-versus-resident basketball game. Beyond these organized activities, residents participate in numerous self-organized activities, including enjoying happy hours or dinners at Philadelphia’s outstanding restaurants, brunches, concerts, and even axe throwing. While the need to be socially distant during COVID-19 has decreased our ability to participate in some of these activities, we have adapted with outdoor happy hours, picnics, and numerous activities on zoom including happy hours, yoga, trivia, and watercolor painting. 

Self-care

Residents often get together before or after work to go jogging or biking or go to a fitness class. Recent favorite events have been The Broad Street Run (a 10 mile run through the heart of the city) and fundraising bike rides.

We are deeply committed to making this exciting and challenging period of training a rewarding and fulfilling one for our residents. We solicit an anonymous wellness survey from the residents quarterly, with the goal of adapting these programs to the needs of our trainees.

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Contact Information

Department of Neurology
3 Gates, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Frances E. Jensen, MD, FACP
Chair of Neurology

Raymond S. Price, MD
Program Director

Vanna Hing, Residency Coordinator
Telephone: (215) 662-3370
PennNeuroResidency@uphs.upenn.edu