USC Caruso OHNS Resident Wellness Program

Mission: Optimize resident wellness through a resident-led, faculty-supported committee that serves to promote work-life balance, support physical, psychological, and emotional health, and provide a peer support and advocacy network throughout residency.

USC OHNS Resident Wellness Committee:

Tamara Chambers, MD and Michael Johns, MD (Faculty liaisons)

Program Components and Resources

  • Annual group and individual wellness assessment
    • Resident/mentor wellness review
  • Monthly Wellness Afternoons
    • Protected time to promote resident work-life balance
    • One protected, scheduled afternoon per month per resident free of clinical duties midweek
    • Purpose: to allow for residents to schedule appointments in advance during regular business hours and take care of other logistical/personal/wellness needs
    • Initiative formalizes and protects duty-free time that already exists in the schedule informally
  • OHNS Resident Wellness Week
    • Annual Department Grand Rounds
    • Annual Wellness Retreat
      • Resident retreat with a focus on team building, collegiality, and fun
      • Annual, department funded, resident weekend gathering where all residents are absolved of call responsibilities to serve the following purposes:
      • Address specific aspects of burnout/problems within the residency program
      • Discuss coping strategies and brainstorm ways to mitigate burnout on a system wide level
      • Present this information to program directors (wellness committee to present information anonymously on behalf of resident body)
      • Wellness in Practice: mindfulness activity, team building activity
      • Recreational bonding time
    • Annual “Life After Residency” Panel
      • Panel of USC alumni from a variety of practice settings discussing life after residency
  • This Resident Life series
    • Quarterly wellness faculty-hosted dinners for the residents with individual faculty members or pairs
    • Storytelling, life in/after residency, balancing priorities
  • Off-site academics
    • Thursday academic conferences intermittently held off campus approximately once a month
  • Resident bonding events (resident initiated)
    • Standing social event each Thursday afternoon
  • First Year Feast
    • Welcome reception for new interns annually
    • Hosted by PGY-2s
  • Annual Resident/Chair Dinner
    • Residents with Chair and Program Directors for collegiality and to informally discuss residency issues
    • Semiannual group and individual program review sessions with the Program Directors
  • Resident professional fund
    • California medical license – application and renewal fees reimbursed by department
    • DEA license – application and renewal fees reimbursed by department
    • Department will reimburse for a pair of surgical loupes for each resident
    • Department provides travel fund for conferences ($1500 per year)
  • Personal space at work
    • Locker, cubby, personal storage cabinet, all-hours desk space
  • Crisis Management Protocol
  • Basketball at LAC+USC
    • Basketball activities on campus, equipment available in County clinic
  • Free Mindful USC App

  • LAC+USC Resident Wellness Week
  • Helping Healers Heal (H3)
  • Monthly Mindfulness Workshops
  • After Hours Wellness Hotline (Protocall)
  • LAC+USC Resident Lounge
  • LAC+USC Department of Otolaryngology resident Basketball
  • Department Dinner for Residents with Chair and Program Directors
  • Schwartz Rounds: given at LAC+USC, Sessions strengthen the caregiver-patient relationship and remind caregivers why they entered the healthcare profession


National Academy of Medicine