Upon joining the Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Resident Wellness (ORW) full time in February 2011, and in concert with Dr. Susan Edwards, Chris Hurst began the development of resident education and well-being supports in postgraduate medical education. He established the first specialized coaching and counselling services for residents and fellows in Canada, focusing on the development of the performance skills needed for high demand training environments to improve resident well-being, performance and quality of care.
Chris became a mentor to newly established counseling services for residents across Canada and was instrumental in the formation of a national coaching and counselling support group for counsellors working with undergraduate and post graduate medical trainees.
Prior to joining ORW, Chris established the counselling service at Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) and continued to collaborate with UGME staff on an integrated approach to physician health education, including taking a leading role in developing the physician wellness component of the new foundation year curriculum at UGME. His collaboration in the development and facilitation of the “Transition to Residency” workshop for 4th year medical students further demonstrates his efforts to support the alignment of postgraduate medical curriculum with foundational skills attained in undergraduate education.
Together with the ORW team, Chris conceived and developed a series of research projects targeting the lived experience of medical residents. This body of research explored the transition experiences of clerks and first year residents who attended counselling supports, the transitional trajectory of first year residents, the adaptive challenges of first year surgical staff and the experiences of residents in remediation. The research has been well received at national and international conferences. Their published article, “A year in transition: a qualitative study examining the trajectory of first year residents’ well-being”, is rated in the top ten percent of research outputs tracked by Altmetric.
Drawing on the ORW research, findings from multiple fields of study and his work with trainees, Chris developed a series of workshops to promote well-being and skills development within the PGME curriculum. Key topics include the following: “Resilience in the Context of Adverse Events”, “Fatigue Management”, “Managing Transitions”, “Enhancing Performance and Well-Being” and “Optimizing Exam Preparation and Performance”. Chris has presented these workshops to medical students, trainees in academic half-days and faculty, and through the Center for Faculty Development and at national and international conferences. Many of Chris’ concepts and ideas have been influential in national initiatives such as the Royal College’s Fatigue Risk Management Project and CanMEDS 2015, ensuring his legacy will live on, long after his retirement.