Winter 2019

Cultivating compassion

Residents bond during a team-building event.
Courtesy of U of M pediatric residency program

Long hours. Lots of responsibility. Looming student debt. Such is life for doctors in residency, the training period between earning their medical degree and practicing on their own.

And it can be overwhelming. “Upward of 40 percent of medical students, residents, and early-career physicians are experiencing burnout,” says pediatrician Emily Borman-Shoap, who directs the U of M Medical School’s pediatric residency program. “We go through periods where we are not the doctor we want to be.” 

That’s why Heidi Roy Hubbard created two funds to promote residents’ well-being during this demanding time. The funds pay for a resident lounge (with good coffee), visits from a taco truck, team-building outings, and classes on meditation and stress relief. They also provide financial help for unexpected expenses, such as car repairs and medical bills.

“Life can derail you at any time,” says Hubbard, a pediatrician and residency program alumna who has given nearly $200,000 to the funds since she established the first one in 2007. “You have to show residents compassion so they can be compassionate toward others.”