Housestaff Wellness

Rebecca L. Williams-Karnesky, MD, PhD Rebecca L. Williams-Karnesky, MD, PhD (1 Posts)

Fellow Physician Contributing Writer

University of New Mexico Hospital


Dr. Rebecca Williams-Karnesky has completed three clinical years as a General Surgery resident and is currently in her second year as a Surgical Education Research Fellow in the Department of General Surgery at the University of New Mexico. Her current research examines the intersectionality of surgeon wellness, engagement in teaching, and learner mistreatment. She is also interested in understanding how mindfulness and compassion practices can be used to increase personal resilience and change culture in surgery.




Why Being Kind Matters: Mistreatment of Residents Leads to Increased Rates of Burnout and Suicidal Ideation

Residency is a challenging time plagued by long hours, overwhelming clinical service loads, escalating documentation requirements, and inadequate resources for support. A recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine illustrates how mistreatment in the training environment takes an additional toll on medical trainees.

Why We Walked Out: A Call for Courage and Action from the University of Washington Housestaff Association

On September 25, we participated in a 15-minute unity break (effectively a walk-out) with over 450 residents and fellows at the University of Washington in protest of UW’s dismal contract proposals during our negotiations. It was led by the University of Washington Housestaff Association (UWHA), one of the few unions of resident doctors in the United States.

A Cry for Help: Burning Out as a Resident Physician

During residency, do you ever stop to think why you wanted to become a doctor? What were your reasons? I wish I could remember mine. I could have pursued so many other careers. I used to be a director of a non-profit organization, helping individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds attain technical skills. I do not recall being at my current level of mental, emotional and physical dysfunctionality while working that job.

“PGY3”: How I Coped in the Medical ICU by Making Music

Listen to the track “PGY3” by Dr. Roy Souaid and his band “John Lebanon.” The song started in New Orleans during the American College of Physicians National Conference in May 2018 and has been a yearlong project inspired by street buskers, hospital sounds and jazz. It captures the medical resident’s work flow and is set in the medical intensive care unit at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

In Defense of Resident Wellness (Part 2 of 2)

In my first post in this two-part series, I presented an argument for why physicians and administrators need to work together to develop small-scale interventions to bring meaning to medicine while we continue to push for larger systemic change. In this post, I will explore some effective (and some less effective) themes for interventions for residents.

The Sweet and Sour of Intern Year

Of all the fulfilling and purposeful vocations to pursue, we’ve ended up trying to find our footing in the vast and ever-changing maze of medicine. Propelled by some combination of privilege, perseverance, and circumstance, we became doctors — many of us with the noble drive to heal and support other humans through the physical and spiritual struggles of life.

An Open Letter to New Interns, Residents and Fellows

I am very pleased to welcome you all to a new academic year at the esteemed institution at which you find yourself, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, thanks to the Match. Late June is always somewhat bittersweet, but it is a simultaneously exciting time in the academic year.

Children During Medical Training: A Resident Physician’s Experience

My wife and I were preparing to move overseas so I could begin medical school in Israel. We both wanted children young. I grew up as one of five siblings, and we looked forward to a big family. I knew that having kids would change my medical education experience, but I had no idea how grateful I would be for the advice I received that sunny spring day in Alabama.

Nathan Douthit, MD Nathan Douthit, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Brookwood Baptist Health


Nathan Douthit is an internal medicine resident in Birmingham, Alabama. He is transitioning into the role of chief medical resident in the summer of 2019. He has been married to Kate for the past eight years, and together they have three wonderful sons with a fourth on the way. His interests include medical humanities, medical education and health equity. When not practicing medicine he can be found with his family, reading, writing or watching Auburn University sports.