A top priority of our program leadership. From one-on-one interactions between residents and faculty to institution-wide wellness initiatives, the culture here at WashU is set up to promote resident wellbeing.

Wellness: within the residency program and division

Wellness leadership

Each year, one of our PGY5 residents serves as Wellness & Education Chief, where half of his/her chief responsibilities include the promotion of wellness among the residents. We also have a division-wide wellness chair, Mary Bertrand, MD.

Social events

The wellness chief organizes social events open to all residents and fellows roughly once per month. These are planned for days/nights when most residents are not scheduled to work. Some of our recent events have included going to see a show together at The MUNY (an outdoor theatre in Forest Park), having a picnic at Tower Grove Park, grabbing a beer together after work at a local brewery, and pub-trivia.

Other social events among the residents range from casual get-togethers for coffee, getting together for the farmers market, checking out local festivals and beautifully executed baby showers! Whatever the occasion, we all truly enjoy spending time together.

Soe Mar, MD, MBBS, MRCP, our program director, regularly hosts resident get togethers at her home throughout the year, always with incredible homemade food and cocktails made by bartender Jon, her husband. Christina Gurnett, MD, PhD, our division chair, hosts division-wide gatherings at her home as well, where all residents are always welcome. Every year we also have a holiday party, senior roast/graduation dinner and each group PGY3-5 have a retreat where part of the day is protected time to get together as a class for a fun activity away from work.


Many of our daily noon conferences are dedicated to wellness activities. Some examples include group meditation, difficult case debriefs, resident wellness “check-in” sessions and annual presentations on positive psychology and strategies for improving sleep/fatigue.

Faculty support

Our faculty are incredibly approachable and willing to listen and help with any wellness-related concerns. With our resident workspace within feet of faculty members’ offices, we can literally pop in to discuss any issue at any time. Soe Mar, our program director, regularly cooks for us — along with her husband Jon. The rest of our faculty also generously anonymously donate to sponsor lunches for us twice per week.


Aside from social events, conferences, and incredible faculty support, we also strive to support resident wellness on the day-to-day basis.  All the residents have their own desks or workspaces with computers within the offices. We stock the resident work area with snacks, fizzy waters, soda, and coffee, so there is always a midday or on the go option. We have designated faculty members that take patient parent calls for us from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. every day, to ensure that residents get signed out in a timely manner and the on-call resident can start call smoothly.

Wellness: within the institution

Head to the WashU GME Wellness website for more information. We will highlight some of the key initiatives below, but we strongly encourage you to check out the website as well as this is a HUGE compilation of resources for residents.

Wellness leadership

WashU GME has an appointed wellness chair, Jenny Duncan, MD. Each residency program at WashU has a wellness champion that attends monthly meetings with Duncan to discuss resident wellness initiatives and ways for improvement.

Social/community events

Wellness champions send out emails with a calendar of local events of the week to all residents. The GME also sponsors institution-wide events including a scavenger hunt and fitness challenges. Development of a narrative medicine club and cross-program small group dinners are in progress. There are also resident and fellow interest groups for various activities and topics (pickleball, hiking, biking, running, golf, tennis, soccer, breweries, music, dinner club, wine tasting, etc.)

Mental health

All WashU residents are offered free and confidential mental health services with psychology and psychiatry. The scheduling system for counseling is all online and is quick, easy and timely. Many of us in child neurology actively take advantage of these services and highly recommend them.


Residents are offered discounts at several local gyms/fitness centers, as well as membership at the BJC Move center, which includes access to physical trainers, group fitness classes and use of the facility located just a few minutes’ drive from the hospital.