First-year anesthesiology residents invited their families to get an inside look at what their training entails at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine during their department’s annual Family Wellness Day.

The event brought new anesthesiology residents and their families to UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital for a day of simulation training. Guests even had the chance to participate in hands-on simulations in the state-of-the-art UK HealthCare Simulation Center. Simulations included point-of-care ultrasound, airway and epidural placement, and crisis resource management.

The goal was to give families an idea of some of the skills that residents are learning in the UK College of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology, as well as some unique challenges they may face. At the end of the event, families were provided contact information of department leadership so they could reach the college at any time with questions or concerns.

“Research has shown us that an understanding of work-related stress by family and friends is associated with improved resident well-being,” Amy DiLorenzo, PhD, assistant dean for educational innovation and scholarship, said. “We facilitate this understanding by inviting the new residents’ loved ones to come to the hospital for the day to hear from faculty members and senior residents about “life as a resident,” some of the typical stressors encountered, and wellness supports that we have in place here at UK.”

Dr. DiLorenzo, who is also an assistant professor of anesthesiology and director of educational scholarship, said her department’s Family Wellness Day was created in 2017 in collaboration with the University of North Carolina to support anesthesiology residents during their busy, and sometimes stressful, years of training.

“We see families as our most important partners in the well-being of residents,” Dr. DiLorenzo said.

Resident David Kline, MD, invited his mom and dad to Family Wellness Day. “Neither of them worked in health care,” he said. “So I really appreciated the opportunity to show them firsthand what I do at the hospital as an anesthesiology resident.”

Dr. Kline said that because of the event, “my parents now have a vastly new perspective on what it is like to be a resident, and they will be able to understand and relate to me significantly more when I tell them about my experiences at the hospital.”

Everett Curry, MD, brought his wife, Emily, and their two sons, Rett (8 years old) and Erickson (4). He said his wife now has a better understanding of the complexities that residency entails. And he was impressed when she and the boys effortlessly intubated the mannequin during the airway placement simulation.

“My family means the world to me, and to be able to share what I’ve dedicated my life to brings me immeasurable joy,” Dr. Curry said.