Wellness Programming and PEER

Mentorship has long been recognized as a key element in training because it has very important influence on career satisfaction and retention. Furthermore, the presence of a mentor has been shown to be a protective factor against burnout, fatigue and attrition. Peer to peer mentorship amongst residents, an approach to mentoring with no power gap between the mentor and mentee, has been found to be quite valuable at University of Chicago. Therefore, to meet the needs of residents, the general surgery residency program established the PEER: Professional Empowerment and Education of Residents program in 2014.

Please browse the resources below to get started on your wellness journey.


  1. To form resident families composed of residents from each year. By doing so, we hope to provide peer counseling throughout the spectrum of residency from junior to senior resident, with the goal of cultivating a competent, confident, and committed surgeon. By drawing on their own experience, residents will support their co-residents through the challenges of surgical residency including career progression, clinical confidence, work/life balance, wellness, and time management. PEER families will meet once every quarter or more to promote this objective.
  2. To make available a resident ombudsperson in each class that makes up the PEER Council. The ombudspersons will serve as a liaison between residents and resources to university tools and faculty as necessary. The PEER Council will meet quarterly to examine residency specific concerns with faculty support to address concerns as necessary.
  3. To build camaraderie as well as outlets that will prevent burnout within the entire residency program through quarterly events which highlight educational and social themes. This will ultimately empower residents to become mature and successful, "surgeons of the highest type" in the words of William S. Halsted.

Mission Statement
To facilitate peer mentorship, camaraderie, and well-being within the general surgery residency.

PEER Co-Chiefs
Janani Vigneswaran and Harry Wong

PEER Council
Andrea Liu, Vanessa Collins, Ryan Morgan, Mikhail Attaar, Lindsey Zhang, Vanessa Buie, Elizabeth Poli

Perspectives EAP (Employee Assistance Program) can provide assistance by phone, online, and through their SPARK app

  • Online: Username: UNI500 / Password: perspectives
  • Phone: 800-456-6327

Spark App: Instant message a counselor or make a video conference appointment. Search for “Perspectives Spark” in the Google Play Store or App Store.

ANONYMOUS Peer support line: 1-800-660-5683

This is a great resource to use if you are having trouble adjusting to home life after a shift, struggling with the emotional turmoil of a shift, etc.

  • HeadspaceMindfulness and meditation app. Offering FREE subscription through its website/app for health care personnel. NPI is required for free subscription. 
  • Woebot:  a free app based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • MoodGym: CBT skill-builder
  • COVID Coach App

GME Office

  • DIO Anita Blanchard, MD  1-773-702-6760
  • Director Megham Twiss  1-773-702-4281

Chaplain On Call  

  • 1- 773-702-6246


Anonymous Compliance Reporting Line

  • 1-877-440-5480