Description of activity

Residency programs that create a culture of resilience and wellness/wellbeing are likely to produce graduates who are well prepared for the era of sustainable medicine. The RESPITE initiative is an international, multisite, e-teaching endeavour currently offering an optional resilience curriculum. The online training program is available during each year of residency training to all physicians in training (residents and fellows). The curriculum includes the online module, reading material, and a post-module survey. During the academic year, the module will be presented to all training levels as a continuum of the objectives.

This curriculum of resilience has been designed for physicians training in various medical specialties and has been put together by resident physicians, medical students, and academic healthcare professionals located at several medical schools across North America, including McMaster University, University of California, Davis, Dalhousie University, and Texas A&M University. The focus of this e-teaching activity is on the efficacy of an instructional approach to stimulate physician trainees’ acquisition, retention, and application of content knowledge on resilience in their evolving roles as physicians.

For the tech-savvy generation entering the workplace, the question regarding “what is the best modality to reach out to our trainees” was asked. By circumventing scheduling class time conflicts and promoting personalized learning, we aim to teach about the importance of maintaining and enhancing wellness, how to reduce resident physicians’ stress and how to learn at their own speed.

We need sustainable, cost effective models of healthcare that accomplish sufficiently with respect to resources. We need the most modern physicians to work in this model. Therefore, we need to make them resilient physicians so that they will sustain their skills in a model of sustenance.

The curriculum has focused on two sections: Know Yourself and Integrate New Lifestyles (see the objectives below). The sections are delivered online during dedicated optional teaching time, and combine lectures, reflection, and simulated skill building exercises. Participants can assess their knowledge after the curriculum module using the summary of key points presented during the module as a framework. One of the goals is to show that the use of post-session questionnaires fosters participants’ comfort in talking about stress and burnout and that they can learn new ways to approach challenges and build resilience.

Overal objectives

At the end of this e-learning activity, participants will be able to:

Disclosure statement

The content of this e-learning activity does not relate to any product of a commercial interest. Therefore, the participating faculty members have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Target audience

This activity is designed to meet a component of the educational needs of physicians in training.

Media types

This activity is available to physicians in training through Internet.


This online self-learning resource, including its text, graphics, images, videos and other ("Content"), is made available by McMaster University for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis, treatment or care. Always seek the advice of a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical situation, medication or procedure described in this online self-learning resource. Never disregard professional medical consultation or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this online resource. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately.

McMaster University does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned within this online resource or other content to which it links. McMaster University, its directors, employees and agents, editors, editorial board members, authors, reviewers, and contributors shall not be liable for any damages arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of this online resource or any Content. Although the authors, editors and publisher have taken all reasonable precautions to verify all clinical recommendations published in this online resource, no guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions. Reliance on any Content is solely at your own risk. The Content of this online resource may not be used to establish a standard of care in legal proceedings or as a basis for expert witness testimony.

Copyright (c) (2018) McMaster University and others. All rights reserved. This material may be reproduced in whole or in part for personal, educational, non-commercial purposes only. Written permission from McMaster University is required for all other uses.