Wellness

Supporting Residents' Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

Residents have access to two 24-hour confidential support residents are encouraged to connect with the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) or the Physician Health Program (PHP). Residents can also find wellness resources at the UBC Resident Wellness office.

  • Employee and Family Assistance Program

    EFAP is a not-for-profit, confidential counseling program specialized to provide service to healthcare employees and their families throughout BC.

    The 24 hour helpline is 1-800-505-4929.

    It is a free, confidential, and safe resource to openly discuss any issues that you are having with residency, work, or life in general.

    Review their service guide for all of their available programs, or access specific programs such as Beating the Blues or Critical Incident Stress Management.

  • Physicans Health Program of BC

    The Physician Health Program of British Columbia is dedicated to helping physicians across the province who need support with issues that may be intruding on their effectiveness, well-being and happiness.
    Now we’ve improved our services to provide around-the-clock support to doctors and their families who may need professional help with particular issues they’re facing: issues that may affect relationships either at work or at home.
    The enhanced services that the Physician Health Program of B.C. offers include not only improved availability to physicians and their families but also two free sessions with a clinical counselor.

    – PHP Brochure

    Services and Resources

    Physician Health Program services are available to all BC physicians, including residents and their families (spouses, parents and children).

    The Physician Health Program offers completely confidential support and referrals for problems you may be facing, including:

    • Substance use disorders: substance abuse and substance dependence
    • Mental health issues: stress, fatigue, burnout, depression or anxiety
    • Relationship stress involving: co-workers, colleagues and family members
    • Career and life transitions: relationship breakup, retirement stress or changing professional interests
    • Financial issues: adverse financial events such as job layoffs within the family or serious illness
    • Professional support: work accommodation issues and other occupational health matters
    • Workplace conflict: interpersonal conflict between colleagues
    • Concern for colleagues: observed irregular or distressing behaviour of a physician, resident or medical student
    • Referrals: assistance in identifying options for a family doctor or psychiatrist

    Helpline

    Upon calling the hotline (1-800-663-6729) you will be connected to an intake counselor who will determine your needs and provide you with access to a network of clinical counselors. The first two hours of counseling are paid for by the Physician Health Program.

    The intake counselor will schedule you an appointment with a PHP physician on the next business day that is convenient for you, unless your need is urgent, or you prefer not to have a meeting.

  • UBC Resident Wellness Office

    The Resident Wellness Office offers free, confidential, professional counseling and support services.

    Phone: 604 675 3873 | Toll-free: 1 855 675 3873 (For general inquiries and to schedule an appointment, please call: 604 875 4111 x 21088)
    Email: resident.wellness@ubc.ca
    Hours: Monday to Thursday, 8am – 4pm
    *Hours may vary depending on client needs

    Download the Resident Wellness Resources guidebook for more resources and information on staying well during residency.


Resident Doctors of BC believes in supporting the emotional and mental well-being of residents. We are available to provide referrals to promote resident health and well-being.

Read the great wellness tips submitted by your fellow residents:

Take a step back from studying/stressing and go for a paddle board. It combines exercise with a low-stress environment, and a little fresh air is guaranteed to make you feel refreshed and energized.

A good night of sleep and 1h bike ride/day, keeps the Doctor away!

Laugh Daily!

Exercise regularly, Make time for friends and family, Take time to think of one positive thing that happened to you each week

Massages, PRN

There’s no question about it, as a resident body, our coffee consumption is massive! What can I say? It keeps us awake to fulfill the heavy demands of residency. Coffee obviously contributes to dehydration and other adverse effects that paradoxically will make us feel less than optimal. So….after your first cup of morning coffee, how about filling your mug with water – hot or cold – and sip on it throughout the day…tada – H2O intake accounted for 🙂

I do a quick 30min run every morning to keep myself sane. Tucking my baby girl into bed every night also makes me forget most of the work-related stress.

Going for brunch with my co-residents!

My wellness tip is to continue to exercise. I practice martial arts 2-3 times a week that includes a mix of kung-fu and tai-chi. I also try to hang out with my friends from outside of medicine for movies and other activities.

Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night (except nights I’m on call!)

Join Vancouver/Okanagan Urban Rec: They run many great co-ed sports leagues including soccer, basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, dodgeball, etc. You can sign up as an individual or as a team. It’s low cost, well organized, and participants are typically quite friendly and respectful.

Stay connected to your close supports such as your family or friends despite our busy schedules.

Book massages with a friend in your program after academic half day.

A long nap in the sun post call always melts away the stress of being on call.

I commute to and from work by running – gives me a chance to wake up in the morning, to clear my head after work, work out and get my 10 km in per day!

Biking to work

Always make time for exercise no matter how tired or how busy you are. It’s putting yourself first and you will never regret a workout. Even if you book yourself in with a personal trainer to keep yourself accountable, it’s worth every penny.

Buy a foldable clothes drying rack and hang your laundry It allows you to feel productive while accomplishing a chore, while taking a few minutes out of your busy day to slow down. It is also environmentally-friendly, and on a lucky day in BC, allows lets you soak in some sunshine!

RDoC wellness infographic