Wellness Program

Most of the time residency is fun, challenging, and exciting, but we know there can be some difficult times too. The goal of the residency program is to provide you with any resources that you may need to help you get the most out of your training and support you through the inevitable speed bumps and stressful moments that crop up from time to time during your training. The following are the variety of options available to you in times of need.


Wellness Program

There are four wellness mentors in the program: Drs. Darren Nichols, Roger Yao, Amanda Hanson, and Shandra Doran. All PGY-1s will have meetings with one of these wellness mentors to orient them to what is available. You may choose which mentor you wish to see and can change mentors at any time. These mentors will also make themselves available outside of the scheduled meetings to assist you as issues arise in your training. In these confidential meetings, the mentors will discuss anything you want to address (both professional and personal issues are up for discussion). They also keep a list of some topics to specifically address with the hopes of uncovering small issues before they become big ones.

The wellness mentors operate independently from the Program Directors and Maria will send an email to schedule your meetings. From PGY-2 onwards, the program is optional and you can choose to meet up with your wellness mentor on an as needed basis.

Did you know…?

Our wellness program was compared to a Canadian EM residency program without a structured wellness program. The study found an increase in UofA resident wellness scores, compared to the control program!


Resident Wellness Activities

“Captain Wellness” was invented by Dr Dennis Lefebvre. The Captains (currently Dr Tina Yokota & Dr Sara McKinnon) will regularly schedule wellness events (trampoline dodgeball, anyone?) for the group, provides information and notices about events in the city, and stocks the rehydration station in the 1G1 resident room. All hail the captains!


Learner Advocacy and Wellness Office

The University offers a Learner Advocacy and Wellness (LAW) Office which is a great resource. The Assistant Dean, Resident and Fellow Affairs, is our own Dr Erica Dance, an emergency physician at the Royal Alex. If you prefer to see someone other than Dr Dance, you can make that request when you contact the LAW office.

University of Alberta Resident Wellbeing Committee

Provides resources for resident wellness and advocates on behalf of residents. Each program is represented on the committee – please consider coming to the meetings, which are on the 3rd Wednesday of every other month from September to May in 1-142 Katz. You can get more information from the LAW Office. 


Alberta Medical Association Physician and Family Support Program (PFSP)

This program is a confidential program that operates independently of the University. You will talk with a physician on the phone who will discuss any topics with you and provide you with a list of resources as needed for your particular situation.