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Postgraduate Medical Education

Learner Wellness

Learners have a multitude of individual program support structures to provide assistance when they are experiencing professional or personal challenges. Beyond these supports exists numerous resources that are available at McMaster and through professional associations. Explore these below.

Expandable List

Resident Affairs Office

The resident affairs office works to ensure the success of learners by promoting wellness and resilience and by helping address issues of concern in their professional and person lives.  There is a resident affairs director at each campus that can assist and direct learners in finding appropriate supports.

Mental Health & Wellness Supports

  • Lisa Giles, Wellness Counselor, Hamilton Campus is a registered psychotherapist who provides free counselling services to all trainees.
  • Dr. Tom Ruttan, Psychologist, Waterloo Regional Campus provides counselling services to trainees based at the Waterloo Regional Campus.
  • HHS Employee Assistance Program (through Lifeworks)  is a full-service, confidential, bilingual employee assistance program for learners and their families, offering counselling and connection with wellness resources. Toll free phone number: 1-888-521-8300
  • SHINE Wellness is a HHS initiative that offers wellness workshops, fitness classes, and more to HHS employees (including trainees), and runs the fitness/wellness centres in each hospital. (Access to the SHINE website is available through Citrix)

Professionalism & Equity Supports

  • Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) is the official representative voice for Ontario’s doctors in training, with the mandate of advocating on behalf of its members and optimizing the training and working experience of trainees. 24/7 confidential helpline: 1-866-HELP-DOC (1-866-435-7362) for emergency or urgent matters, as well as for referral to resources on a variety of issues. Resource to note:
  • OMA Physician Health Program (OMA-PHP) provides confidential advice, preliminary assessment, intervention coordination, and referral for counselling and clinical services to trainees and their family members. They will assist with issues such as stress, burnout, marital and family issues, substance abuse or dependency, conduct or behavioural problems, sexual boundary issues, gambling, and mental health. Confidential helpline (M-F 8:45am-5:00pm): 1-800-851-6606. Resource to note:

For current learners requiring further wellness information, please visit MedPortal