Resident Wellness

Here at Rush, we understand that the transition from medical student to doctor is demanding and can bring about feelings of stress or anxiety. This is why we empower our residents so they don’t just survive but actually thrive during their training. Our efforts are grounded in the belief that better self-care translates to better patient care.

One initiative within our department is the annual Intern Wellness Retreat. This was implemented back in 2006 and has been highly anticipated year after year. We have seen that this day-long retreat has improved the internship experience by providing an opportunity for self-reflection and community building. The day’s activities serve to address four important domains – attention to body, strengthening of relationships, creating meaning, as well as laughter and creativity. We offer a safe place to discuss the stresses of residency and focus on self-care needs. At the end of the retreat, many interns feel more thoughtful about their relationships with their patients and other healthcare professionals.

2020 Intern Wellness Retreat

In addition to the initiative described above, we support wellness in the following ways:

  • Noon Conference programming on burnout
  • Switch week get-togethers (meet-up outside of the hospital at the end of a rotation)
  • Annual PGY-2 retreat including scavenger hunt around the city of Chicago
  • Annual PGY-3 retreat including WhirlyBall
  • Fall and spring resident parties
  • Intern Appreciation Day
  • House Staff Career Series on topics like financial planning and career building
  • HSA Wellness Committee

Internal Medicine Residency Wellness Taskforce

The intention of this website is to provide Rush House Staff with suggestions and ideas for establishing good habits and optimizing their physical and mental health during residency. If you have ideas you would like to share with your colleagues, please email Celine Goetz, MD at

If you are interested in joining the IM Residency Wellness Taskforce, please contact Dr. Goetz as well. We meet on the last Friday of the month at 4pm.

We also want to make you aware of the many resources available to you (listed below). We urge everyone to explore these, not only those experiencing burnout. 

Rush Wellness Assistance Program

The Rush Wellness Assistance Program is a comprehensive, system-wide resource for all Rush employees, students, and their families. This program serves the Rush community through offerings in three areas:

​Work: Professional and personal development through “Skillbuilders” — free 30-45 minute online tutorials that address numerous topics including Emotional Wellbeing, Achieving Personal Goals, Managing Stress, Time Management, The Power of Resilience, and much more.​
​Life: 24/7 Confidential, short-term counseling services for all employees, students, and their families — at no cost.
Home​: Connecting Rush community members to pre-screened services for child and elder care, legal support, and financial planning.


For the first time ever, these services will be available at Rush across all platforms – including mobile app, phone (833-304-3627), and web (Login: “Rush” and Password: “Wellness1”). We have also introduced our “Access Anywhere” feature which provides videoconferencing counseling support on your phone or tablet from the privacy and comfort of your home (or wherever you happen to be).

Finally, you may have a significant other, child, or additional family member who could benefit from speaking to a counselor, utilizing our “Skillbuilders” resource, or being connected to services for childcare or eldercare – this program covers them too.

The Rush Wellness Assistance Program represents an evolution in how we envision the role of wellness at Rush – recognizing that creating true well-being extends beyond work, into our lives and homes.

Center for Clinical Wellness

The Center for Clinical Wellness is the first-of-its-kind; each finish, color, and texture was selected with a scientifically proven rationale to improve the well-being of visitors, while creating an optimal healing environment. Made possible by a significant philanthropic gift, the Center’s launch represents a new chapter in well-being for Rush University System for Health.

The Center for Clinical Wellness (CCW) will seek to address three primary goals:

  1. Creation of a culture of wellness, including programs to address burnout, support resilience, and increase joy in work.
  2. Increased support for mental health, including access to care, reduction in stigma, and strategic partnerships to prevent suicide.
  3. ​Production of leading research through an emphasis on data and analytics.


The following services are currently available:

  • Well-Being Coach: Work with one of our Well-Being Advocates to identify and meet your wellness goals. ​​​​​
  • Counseling: Our Well-Being Advocates are trained ​mental health professionals and are​ here to support you.
  • Mini Wellness Retreats: ​​Re-charge your well-being - spend 60 minutes at the Center for Clinical Wellness enhancing your well-being through a special, targeted experience (includes access to Energy Pod).​

Members of the Wellness team who support our clients are known as Well-Being Advocates. We believe wellness is a journey, and while this journey is different for everyone, we can all benefit from a little help along the way.​ All Well-Being Advocates are licensed behavioral health professionals with a range of backgrounds: all with a master’s degree or above, including ​PhD’s and MD’s.

Additional Resources

Financial Assistance

We have financial advisors available to help you navigate the loan repayment process. They also assist with budgeting and financial planning. This service is free of charge. Contact information is listed below.

Office of Student Financial Aid
Armour Academic Center
600 South Paulina St., Suite 440
Chicago, IL 60612
Contact: (312) 942-6256 or 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Patty Normand

Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to what is happening in your life in a nonreactive way. The mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program at Rush involves a series of sessions over a two-month period of time. For more information, please visit the website.

Rush Fitness Center

The Rush Fitness Center is open to all residents (resident rate is $26 per month) and features cardio equipment, circuit and free weights, a variety of group exercise classes and personal training. 

711 South Paulina St. 
Chicago, IL 60612
Contact: (312) 947-2348 or
Monday to Friday 5:30am–9:30pm, Saturday 7:00am–5:00pm

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