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Going Out of My Head

Bill Benda, MD

Wellness. What do you feel when you hear this word? A sudden calmness at the center of your belly? An intellectual smile knowing it is the root of all health? Or perhaps a roll of the eyes at yet another vague, trendy buzzword that conveys absolutely no information? I have been of the latter breed. I hold the term wellness (not the concept) in the same category as antiaging: fun to say but devoid of useful details (go ahead, try to stop aging for a nanosecond). But as the new wellness director at a recently launched emergency medicine residency, I've had to investigate exactly what this concept means if I am to have a clue for how to do my job. And I have discovered that the desire for wellness in the world of conventional medicine is suddenly all the rage-added to academic curricula overnight and tacked onto most every evaluation/metric questionnaire we fill out.

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