Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine

Wellness and Work-Life Balance


Our annual two-day retreat is an important part of resident wellness. All residents are excused from clinical duties to spend time at a rural retreat center outside Chicago. Our retreat agenda includes team-building activities, class meetings with faculty leadership, ropes courses, team competitions, class activities, and campfires. Suggestions for residency program changes and future goals are also discussed in work groups during the retreat. 

Our monthly Adams Club evenings provide another opportunity for residents and faculty to gather off-campus, in a relaxed environment. Hosted by faculty members in their homes, Adams Club consists of dinner and faculty-led teaching sessions. During certain months, Adams Club allows the NU EM family to celebrate holidays together, as well. Whether there is a Halloween costume contest, a backyard barbeque, or a game of Orthopedic EM Jeopardy on the agenda, the atmosphere at Adams Club is always laid back and fun.

The Northwestern Emergency Medicine Wellness Committee meets throughout the year and is open to all residents. With the mission of educating, promoting and supporting wellness and resiliency among emergency physicians at Northwestern, the committee works to develop wellness activities and practices, and to recognize the scholarly potential of examining wellness programs for emergency physicians. The Wellness Committee sponsors participation sports leagues and regular resident-only gatherings. 

A resident wellness initiative of a monthly class social helps foster camaraderie and relaxation. Each class works with the Chief Residents to schedule a night free of clinical duty every month.