Message from GME Director of Wellness to our trainees (March 21, 2020):

Dear Residents and Fellows,

Overwhelmed, anxious, distracted, lonely, fearful, these are a few words that might describe the feelings of those who are working at the front-lines of clinical care, transitioning into different working arrangements, or home under quarantine during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are working to provide additional support and resources for all of you during this difficult time.

We also recognize that news cycles are dominated by COVID-19 news. While coverage is a pertinent necessity during a pandemic, it can be overwhelming to experience every news outlet abandoning their daily beat for serious COVID-19 news only. You are also likely inundated with emails from the hospital/WU on new policies and procedures, so much so that the information may be hard to process or even get to. GME is also working to try to centralize and streamline communication to your PDs to ensure accuracy and accessibility of important information for the workplace and your immediate community. Weekly COVID bulletins are being sent to PDs and can be found, along with recordings of Q&A sessions on the GME website here.

Attached to this email you will also find an article with information from the 2003 SARS outbreak and the needs of trainees at that time. Please note, we are attentive to the information they learned and are working to try to highlight support for those needs.

To help you refocus, attend to important self-care and boost your mood, we are sending some suggestions for things you can do to attend to your mental health. We encourage you to explore free resources, tips or self-help platforms, and support of your mental health.

  1. Visit the GME Wellness Website for a list of added support resources during the COVID-10 pandemic. We will be updating this information on a regular basis.
  1. Join a GME Wellness Group Support Meeting. We are actively working to expand opportunities for group support sessions as well as peer support options.  Zoom-based group sessions will be added regularly so please check the GME Wellness Website and New Innovations for up to date information.

Dr. Raquel Cabral, GME Psychologist, will offer the first group support session on Monday March 23 at 11am. Login to New Innovations for Zoom meeting login information.

  1. Consider these additional tips for staying well during stress – (details posted on the GME Wellness Site):
  • Help someone else – see website for suggestions
  • Practice mindfulness – check out the free apps and ideas on the wellness site
  • Read a positive book or watch a positive movie – See a list of suggestions from the Internal Medicine Chiefs or
    • Al.com has created a list of “31 optimistic books for readers in need of a boost right now.” You can read the full list here.
    • And a list of “51 hopeful movies that will make you feel good about life, now streaming on Netflix and more.” You can read the full list here.
  • Limit your sources of news – Especially if you are already feeling overwhelmed, it is good to streamline your incoming news by picking three sites that you will get information from (work emails count as a source of information).
  • Get moving – see the Wellness Website for specific suggestions
  • Practice gratitude – Taking a moment to remember all of the things that you are grateful for in life can be a great way to focus on the positive.

Please know that we are working hard to provide resources and support. Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions or thoughts.

All the best,

Jenny Duncan, M.D.
Director of Wellness for GME