by Melanie Rule
This story begins with an email. I had always believed that much like a phone call at 3am, nothing good ever comes in an email. However the story of how this group, WRaP EM (Wellbeing, Resilience and Performance in Emergency Medicine) was formed, has changed that perception for me. Somewhere buried deep in my inbox full of upcoming meetings and hospital protocols waiting to be read was an opportunity. An opportunity in the form of an email from Una Harrington, a fellow Emergency physician that I had worked with a few years prior during our training years. She floated the idea of a Wellbeing initiative to be put together by a group of ordinary but like-minded emergency doctors who were on a journey to discover the secret to our own wellbeing.
It was with much enthusiasm that we all met for a coffee at Southbank to hear more about Una’s idea. Some of us knew each other from previous work or medical school interactions. Some of us had never met. All of us were in the process of learning and exploring ideas about physician wellbeing and some had already started to dabble in creating some wellbeing initiatives in their own workplaces.
Una has the enviable skill of being a connector of people. We quickly forgot about the beverages we had ordered and started talking. What followed was a long, noisy and passionate conversation, with quite a lot of people talking over each other, as we all shared our passion and ideas for the topic.
Each of us left that meeting with a spring in our step. From there the connections continued to grow. Everyone knew someone that would be perfect to join the group. More doctors from all over our local area joined the group, hand selected for their reputation as a supporter of physician wellbeing and their enthusiasm for creating change in the workplace. Our group then extended to include medical education officers, nurses and social workers from local hospitals in our network. It seems not just doctors have a problem with managing their own wellness.
Within weeks we had a network, within months we had the outline of a wellbeing curriculum and within a year we had a website and blog. Like any great idea, once it had been given its start, it continued to gain momentum.
The vision for WRaP EM was to develop a wellbeing curriculum that could be taught in workplaces by anyone with access to the resources. Our lofty goal was that we could have a hand in improving the wellbeing of not just ourselves, but our colleagues and workplaces. We hope that we are on the way to achieving this. None of us are experts in wellbeing, we are all still navigating our own paths to find what makes us thrive at work and home, and what gives us a satisfying and sustainable career.
The connections, support, positive energy and enthusiasm from every member of the WRaP EM group have been wonderful. It has been amazing to see what a group of passionate people can achieve in such short time when they have a strong network of connections that feed this enthusiasm.
We hope you enjoy this website and blog and find the ideas here a starting point for exploring your own personal wellbeing journey. We are keen to hear your feedback and ideas about what you found useful and what is working for you and your own workplace. For now, that’s a WRaP.