Developing a Well-Being Program for Anesthesia Research Trainees

left to right: Catherine Chen, MD, MPH, Elizabeth Whitlock, MD, MS, and others at UCSF Anesthesia and Perioprattive Care Research Day

Physician-scientists face unique challenges as they navigate careers that include a substantial time commitment to research, high intensity clinical work, and expectations of roles in mentoring, education, and service. The many stresses of multifaceted professional careers, uncertainties about research funding, and the potential for work-life imbalances can profoundly affect the wellness and resiliency of physician-scientist trainees and put them at risk for dropping out of research.

To address these challenges, the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care is developing a well-being program for research trainees on the department’s Pathway to Scientific Independence, including residents on the Research Scholars TrackT32 postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty with significant research commitments. The development of this program is supported by an Administrative Supplement to the department’s long-standing NIH T32 training grant. This effort is led by Vice Chair for Research Judith Hellman, MD, Associate Chair of Well-Being Jina Sinskey, MD, and Director of Research Development and Training Kate Alfieri, PhD. The program, which will be piloted over the next year, will include workshops, community building events, career development and mentorship activities, and a seminar focused on wellness research.