Medical residents at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital are participating in a pilot program called the “Lenox Chill” initiative, which is a month long optional yoga course to help residents better manage the stress and rigors of residency, according to a recent NY1 report. Started by internist Dr. Robert Graham, the class is run by his wife Julie, who is a yoga instructor.
“Residency tends to be a very stressful situation both financially, personally, physically clinically, and there’s really no introduction of self care and well being to our residents, and I think it’s important to introduce certain techniques like yoga and meditation so we can improve both the physicians’ well being and self care, and then hopefully translate into better patient care,” Graham said in the report.
His wife leads residents through stretching and breathing exercises in a hospital conference room, and doesn’t require a yoga mat or change of clothes, the report stated.
Residents who spoke with NY1 said they find themselves practicing yoga well after the class ends.
“We have been incorporating them into our work day sometimes we’ll take extra five minutes to sit down in a quiet place and do some of our mindful meditations or yoga stretches,” said Medical Resident Marelle Yehuda.
Dr. Graham is hoping to create a permanent program in the future.