There is no doubt that these are un-unprecedented times. Feelings of uncertainty and fear can certainly creep in during many moments in the day, even when amongst your peers and colleagues.

The UMMC Office of Wellbeing is here to support all of us and there are a variety of resources in place to support you. In our collective experience, we have all gone through difficult times as individuals. Many of us, have not however, faced anything like what we are experiencing as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are providing direct care to patients, providing necessary support to the health care system, or supporting loved ones who do any of these, it is perfectly normal to experience uncertainty, fear, and loneliness.

Please be aware of these resources from the UMMC Office of Wellbeing:

Handling Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Also, the American College of Physicians has compiled a large pool of resources found here:

Resources for Healthcare Workers During COVID-19

Be on the lookout for other resources from the Office of Wellbeing. We will try to include these as they are available. Upcoming resources will include counseling as well as strategies to cope in difficult and stressful work conditions.

Many of these resources may seem trivial at first, but please do know that you are not alone, there is support and help around every corner, and that collectively we are stronger together than we are alone. While we cannot exercise or “yoga” our way out of this situation, living each day in the present, avoiding catastrophic worry, and taking care of yourself will make each of us better and more effective in the tasks at hand.

Recently I have been practicing gratitude. It may seem too simple to work, but studies have shown in several medical care settings, that regular gratitude practice is associated with less emotional exhaustion and a general feeling of well-being. In fact, there are several apps for smart phones that can remind you day by day to practice the construction of a gratitude list. Three Good Things is a popular app that can help.

For me, today I am grateful for the sun shining on my face, being awoken by the birds from sleep at 6:30 AM, and even the pollen that collects on my car, as this is a sign of rebirth and renewal.

Also, do not forget about the UMMC R.I.S.E. Program. It is live and ongoing to provide you with just-in-time peer support for anyone who works at UMMC. Please refer to the link to the resources list for this contact information.

wardrop signature

With gratitude and faith,

Richard M. Wardrop, III, MD, PhD

Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Development

Physician Lead for Faculty Engagement – UMMC Office of Wellbeing

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