About Wellness

Residency is an intense, discrete period of time to accumulate a sufficient background of training to support a career in ophthalmology. While we want our trainees to participate in as much learning and patient care as possible, we also recognize and prioritize health and wellness.  Our residents are forming habits and making wellness and career/life balance decisions that will resonate beyond these formative years.  Along those lines, we fully support wellness measures and make it a point of emphasis during training.

Important Programs

  • Lexington Medical Society Physician Wellness Program: Confidential and free counseling services available 24/7 for any UK resident or fellow.  The program is not connected to UK or health insurance.  The following link provides a video that further explains this service: https://www.lexingtondoctors.org/services/wellness-program/.
  • UK Counseling Center: Free and confidential counseling services provided by Dr. David Pascal-Hague, a staff psychologist appointed specifically for medical students and housestaff.
  • UK REFER Program: A Family Center Counseling service provided as a benefit to UK employees that focuses on personal, couple, or family concerns. To set up an appointment, please call the UK Family Center at (859) 257-1467 or (859) 257-7755.
  • UK Human Resources Wellness Program: These HR wellness benefits are available to all our house staff.
  • UK HealthCare Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic:  Intake phone numbers are (859 323-6008 and (859) 323-6058.
Cartoon graphic of wellness, including a heart, an apple, a person standing, a person meditating, and a person sleeping

Emergency Resources

  • University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Emergency Department:
    800 Rose Street; Lexington, KY  40508
    Dial 911 in Emergency Situation
  • University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency Department:
    310 S. Limestone; Lexington, KY  40508
    Dial 911 in Emergency Situation
  • The Ridge Behavioral Health System:
    3050 Rio Dosa Drive; Lexington, KY  40509
    (859) 268-6400 or (859) 268-6474 for physician’s intake office
    Ask for Assessment Office and identify self as UK resident/fellow needing immediate evaluation

Vacation and Leave

Institutional policies can be found on the UK GME website . All interns and residents are provided three weeks of vacation leave and four additional bonus days during the winter holiday break. Residents are able to make personal leave requests at any time, regardless of service obligations, and are under no obligation to disclose the nature of personal leave requests. Examples of personal leave requests include routine doctor/dental visit, personal well-being appointment, personal or family emergencies.

Specific policies for the ophthalmology program:

• Residents are allowed up to three days of professional leave when presenting a poster or paper at an academic conference.
• PGY-4 residents are all permitted and encouraged to attend the annual Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting each fall
• PGY-4 residents are granted up to five professional days for job and fellowship interviews.


Several childcare facilities are located on or adjacent to UK. Please note that some of these programs have a nine-to-ten month waiting list, so if you are interested, please talk to the directors as early as possible.

Primary Care

Internal and Family Medicine:  During GME orientation, interns are encouraged to sign up to be placed on a fast track to establish primary care via the internal medicine department.  If needing to establish later in residency both the internal medicine and family medicine departments offer appointments.

Pediatricians:  The University of Kentucky has a very robust pediatrics department, with clinics in multiple locations.  There is also a fully staffed after hour “twilight” clinic on weekdays and weekends.

Dental:  Housestaff are offered dental insurance and can schedule appointments through the dental clinic.

Women’s Health:  The University of Kentucky has excellent OB-GYN coverage, including midwife services.  We also have a very supportive breastfeeding policy.

Stipends and Benefits

Housestaff stipends and benefits are located on the GME website.  Additionally, UK employees receive discounts at many local, regional and national businesses.

Notably, the University of Kentucky offers a 2:1 retirement match meaning that 5% of your salary is placed into a retirement account and matched 10% by the institution (so a total of 15% of your annual salary amount is placed in retirement with only 5% coming from you).


Core to our purpose as health care providers and educators is fostering an environment that recognizes and supports diversity and inclusivity.  This involves continual and ever increasing efforts at an institutional, departmental, and personal level.  The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides excellent guidance and resources.  For more information or with any concerns, please contact the program administrator or director.

If you ever experience or suspect bias and are unable or uncomfortable discussing this within the department, please submit a report here or contact the University of Kentucky Police Department (859) 257-8573.

Additional Resources