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Residency Policies & Procedures
IX. RESIDENT T-GROUP
1. The overall purpose of T-groups is to provide a support group for residents. Specific goals of T-groups are to:
2. Attendance is optional but strongly encouraged, especially early in training.
3. T-groups are NOT group therapy or a didactic program. T-groups are not intended to take the place of the residency’s disciplinary process with regard to work performance of residents, faculty, or staff. Such concerns should be referred to the residency director.
4. T-group should be a safe, supportive, respectful, and confidential environment. Specific ground rules/expectations for T-groups include:
5. The T-group leader should check in regularly with the group to ensure that the group is meeting its goals. In addition, T-groups should be evaluated on a regular basis (at least every 6 months) just as other educational components of the residency program (e.g. clinical rotations, supervision) are evaluated. This process should include anonymous written evaluation by residents of the T-group leader’s ability to facilitate and promote a safe, supportive, respectful environment; group members’ adherence to ground rules of confidentiality, respect, and mutual support; the overall success of the T-group in meeting the goals listed in #4 above; strengths of the group; areas for improvement; and goals that the evaluating resident has for contributing to improving the group. Residents who do not attend should have the opportunity to provide input regarding the T-group program. Compiled feedback should be reviewed by the residency director and relevant portions shared with the T-group leader, who should use the feedback as appropriate to better facilitate the group. The program (residency director, RESC) and department have ultimate responsibility to ensure that the T-group program is meeting its goals and to determine any consequences of consistently negative evaluations of the leader(s) or group(s).
6. There will be orientation to the residency program that provides an orientation to T-group. This orientation session should include discussion and a written handout regarding the overall purpose and goals of T-group, ground rules/expectations, what T-group is not, and the evaluation process. If possible, one or more T-group leaders should give or participate in the orientation, or if this is not possible the content of the session and handout should involve substantial input from the T-group leaders.
7. Appointment of new T-group leaders, and continuing involvement by current leaders, is subject to the approval of the residency director.
8. The program/department should provide consultation to T-group leaders from an expert in group dynamics. In addition, the residency director should meet with the T-group leaders at least annually to review pertinent program expectations, policies, and changes.
9. T-group provides one way in which residents can achieve relevant Professionalism milestones and learn lifelong approaches to self-awareness, reflection, self-care, addressing their own mental health and wellbeing in order to best help patients, and balancing professional and personal responsibilities. Each resident is responsible for meeting these milestones and expectations, regardless of his/her attendance at T-group and is responsible for informing his/her advisor and the program director, during regular semiannual evaluation meetings, how he/she is doing this. The program provides one hour per week throughout residency for T-group or (in the case of residents who choose not to attend) other wellness activities to meet these milestones. The program’s resident wellness committee explores and supports other ways to promote resident wellbeing.
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