Connecting Well-being to Compassionate Care in Pediatric Residents

Connecting Well-being to Compassionate Care in Pediatric Residents 1024 683 Madison Storm

A multicenter study identified several well-being factors associated with pediatric residents’ confidence in providing calm, compassionate care to patients.

Suzanne Reed, MD, has been interested in medical education since her training as a medical student. Captivated by the academic side of education, Dr. Reed has dedicated much of her research and clinical work to medical education, specifically focusing on trainee well-being.

“Much like how we think about research informing clinical care of patients, in the same way, it’s important to look at educational processes and learners under the same microscope,” says Dr. Reed, a pediatric oncologist and associate program director of the General Pediatrics Residency at Nationwide Children’s. “Medical education can affect medical outcomes for trainees, just as it can for patients.”

Suzanne Reed, MD

Recently, Dr. Reed published a study in Patient Education and Counseling that utilized data from the Pediatric Resident Burnout and Resilience Consortium from 2016-2018, analyzing it with the Calm Compassionate Care Scale and other resident measures of well-being to access the confidence of pediatric residents in delivering that type of care.

Aligned with findings in related literature, study results indicate factors such as greater mindfulness, self-compassion and empathetic concern are associated with increased confidence in delivering calm, compassionate care. Negative association with confidence in providing calm, compassionate care derived from factors including feelings of decreased personal accomplishment, increased emotional exhaustion and increased depersonalization — a common definition of burnout.

“One marker of burnout often overlooked is sense of personal accomplishment,” says Dr. Reed, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University. “This is especially important in the trainee population. It’s harder sometimes to find a sense of personal accomplishment because trainees are still learning.”
In her role with the residency program at Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Reed applies the findings of studies like this. The areas of well-being that Nationwide Children’s focuses on with residents come directly from residents and evidence-based research to continually improve resident experience in this program.

Today, Dr. Reed is involved in a Nationwide Children’s-driven, nationally funded resilience curriculum for residents and pediatric faculty called the Sustaining and Training for Resilience, Engagement and Meaning (STREAM) program. This program aims to develop a curriculum, informed by evidence-based research such as this, to help practitioners build skills to reduce stress and burnout. She’s also further investigating the well-being measures of pediatric residents across the training continuum.


This article also appears in the Spring/Summer 2024 print issue. Download the full issue.



Liu A, Ben-Zion S, Schwartz A, Mahan JD, Reed S. Well-being factors associated with confidence in providing calm, compassionate care in pediatric residents. Patient Education and Counseling. 2023;115:107906. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2023.107906

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