Background : To optimize resident learning, programs need to readily assess resident well-being. There is a lack of easy-to-use, acceptable instruments for this task.
Objective : We created a well-being "fuel gauge," and assessed the acceptability and feasibility of this weekly electronic communication pipeline for residents to report and discuss their well-being.
Methods : A well-being fuel gauge assessment was administered weekly over the course of 1 academic year (July 2016 to June 2017) in a large internal medicine residency program. The well-being gauge asked residents to report their fuel levels using a 1 to 5 Likert-type scale (1, empty; 3, half tank; and 5, full tank). Residents who provided low scores (1 or 2) were contacted by program leadership, and the program director sent weekly e-mail updates that addressed residents' comments on their well-being fuel gauge.
Results : Of 163 residents, 149 (91%) provided data on their well-being fuel gauge, with a 53% average weekly response rate. Fifty-four percent of residents (80 of 149) reported a low score over the course of the year, and 4 residents only used the assessment to report a low score. Comments on average consisted of 280 characters (SD = 357) and were lengthier and more prevalent with lower fuel gauge scores. We analyzed the relationship between scores and comments.
Conclusions : The well-being fuel gauge was well accepted by most residents and was easy to administer and to oversee by program directors. It facilitated ongoing monitoring of well-being and follow-up to address factors contributing to low well-being.
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