Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine Residency Program

Resident Wellness

At Penn, we realize the importance of resident wellness in both performance and career satisfaction. The Resident Wellness Committee, run by the residents, is dedicated to providing resources and organizing activities to help residents stay physically and emotionally healthy, as well as develop good habits for the future.

The stress of residency takes its toll on even the best residents and has even become a national issue. You can read more about this here and here.

To reach the Wellness Committee, please scroll to the bottom, or email pennemwellness@gmail.com.

Preventing Burnout

We have a variety of both formal and informal residency activities to enjoy life outside of the emergency room with our residency family. Pictures here.

Resident Wellness Day: Every year, we have a dedicated day to wellness, based on the interests of the current residents. The Wellness Day covers topics from financial planning and advising to group exercise and meditation/mindfulness.

Big Sib Program, ED Family: Every intern has an assigned ED “family” with “big sibs,” which consists of a PGY 2, PGY 3, PGY 4 and attending physicians. This unofficial program has become a big hit, with families often doing monthly get-togethers consisting of dinners, casual outings, or fitness classes to provide mentoring and advice for career and personal success.

Yearly Holiday Party: This annual event is hosted by the Department of Emergency Medicine, and is a fun night of cocktails, dinner, and socializing with the residents, faculty, nursing, staff, and their families.

Interncation: At the end of the PGY 1 year, the interns have over a week off to do whatever they want! Some classes have been mellow and done beach trips and others have found their adventurous side and flown to Cuba!

Nursing Meet and Greet: Every year during the intern orientation the ED nurses organize a social event with the residents to establish relationships among team members for the upcoming academic year.

Beach Day: Our annual Beach Day is a relaxing day on the beach, hosted by various faculty members for the residents and their significant others to unwind. We are lucky in Philadelphia to have both Atlantic City just a short drive away, as well as the Jersey Shore nearby.

Senior Graduation: We are sad to see our seniors go but the final farewell is always a blast!

The residency also sponsors events like class bowling, escape rooms, amazing race style scavenger hunts. Every year is unique! As the Wellness Committee expands, we constantly recruit feedback in order to bring in events and address issues that are important to our residents.


Social Media

Social media is everywhere and we love to use it! We have residency wide group messaging where we post interesting cases/links and you can get real time answers to any and every question!

We recently expanded this messaging to have a dedicated group with our nurses to communicate department wide social gatherings and hang-outs.

And of course we have Facebook, our resident blog, and even our own twitter hashtag:



Physical Wellness

We take physical wellness seriously at PennEM. While everyone may not be a marathon runner, Soul Cycler, or adrenaline junkie, there are common themes in the residency.

Sleep Cycles: As PGY 1 and PGY 2s, shifts are primarily 12 hours and incrementally decrease to 8 hour shifts in the PGY 3 and 4 years. Additionally, nights are scheduled together to decrease the number of day to night switching.

Vacations: Who doesn’t love a good vacation? All residents get 4 weeks of vacation, which includes either the week of Christmas or New Years to be with your loved ones. Additionally, starting PGY 2 year, there is an increasing amount of elective time that can be used to hone your skills or areas of interest; many residents have done travel electives or even gone abroad.

Shift Breaks: Mandatory breaks during your PGY 1 and PGY 2 years, where the attending or senior resident holds your phone to give the junior residents some time to eat, regroup, and come back refreshed.

Activities: The residency is also a very active one, with almost weekly gatherings to get physically active ranging from an Ultimate Frisbee team, to races and runs, as well as fitness or hip hop classes that are organized by some of the Big Sib Program members and attending physicians.

The residency provides breakfast at weekly conference days and lunch on noon conference days. There are plenty of good eats in the area of the hospital including restaurants and food trucks.


Residency Career Mentoring and Planning

Residency is not just about training but also about preparing for a successful career. In addition to the ED Family program, we also have monthly “Shemergency” and “Men Of EM events” with the attending physicians. These events allow more bonding between residents and attending physician and in the past have been barbeques, yoga, etc. Every attending wants their residents to succeed and can offer mentorship. Shemergency is a unique program to Penn, started by dedicated residents and female¬†faculty members to provide formal and informal mentorship to cultivate female leaders and explore the unique challenges women face within the field of Emergency Medicine.

For those more administratively inclined, UPenn offers a Healthcare in Leadership Quality Tract as well as multiple opportunities to serve on resident governing councils including the Housestaff and APP Quality Council or Housestaff Governing Council. Within the residency you can join the Wellness Committee or a specific residency track in medical education, critical care, healthcare disparities, or ultrasound. There are plenty of leadership development opportunities to go around. Hospital-wide leadership opportunities can be found here.


Residency Benefits

Every resident has access to the following benefits:

  • Hospital Scrubs
  • Embroidered white coat
  • Fees covered including:
    • Membership to SAEM and ACEP/EMRA (and EMRAP podcasts)
    • Rosh Review Question Bank
    • DEA licensing Step 3
    • MD Annual licensing
    • ACLS, ATLS, PALS covered
    • $200 CME credit
    • On Call money provided on trauma and PICU rotations
    • Monthly bus pass or hospital parking
    • iPhone for work
    • Airway cadaver course as first years (>$1500 value)
    • $1500 for PGY 4s to go to ACEP or SAEM
    • $750 stipend for residents presenting at EM meetings


Resources for Residents

Every resident has access to a variety of resources to help their mental health, including access to Penn Behavioral Health which provides different options based on the needs of the resident. In addition, the residency leadership has an open door policy to discuss any concerns that may arise. The ombudsperson is an additional resource, always available to any resident, and is a more neutral option available for extra support outside the Emergency Department. To reach the ombudsperson contact the GME office directly. More resources can be found here.

To reach the Wellness Committee:

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