Residents create buddy support system

Above, residents Doug Hall, MD, Beth Terry, MD, and Doug Kyrouac, MD, meet in a Zoom session.

With the challenges of residency compounded by the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Medicine has found a creative way to support house staff through these unprecedented times — a small group “buddy” system designed with the constraints of physical distancing in mind.

Graduate Medical Education (GME) Wellness Program champions Beth Terry, MD, Doug Hall, MD, and Doug Kyrouac, MD — all residents in internal medicine — worked with GME Wellness faculty advisers Rakhee Bhayani, MD, and Carol Faulk, MD, to develop the new system, which divides the larger residency program into three- or four-person groups.

Each group includes at least one resident who is on an outpatient rotation. The hope is that this resident can support colleagues who are working more time-intensive rotations — by doing weekly check-ins, helping with clinic tasks and creating virtual meet-ups. “It’s a proactive strategy to provide peer support,” Bhayani said. “A supportive work culture is key to helping resident physicians cope. We hope that other residency programs can use this model as well.”