Feb 27, 2023

Residents gather for first in-person retreat in three years

Residents posing with their cross-country skis
By Nick Patch

A group of nearly 50 of the Department’s residents recently gathered for the first in-person Resident Retreat in three years, convening north of Toronto for a rejuvenating full day of outdoor recreation and relaxation.

After congregating virtually the past two years due to the pandemic, residents were thrilled to finally get together and unwind over a full day of engaging activities.

“One of the best parts of our program is the people in it, so it was important for everyone to take this opportunity to get together and really bond,” said Dr. Alix Murphy, who organized the retreat alongside fellow residents Dr. Graciella Pio and Dr. Martha Smith.

“Spending that time together was really valuable and beneficial, and it really helped the morale of the residents.”

After a breakfast of doughnuts and muffins, the group set off for Hardwood Hills near Barrie, where residents could choose to spend the morning snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or hanging out at the chalet.

From there, the group went on for a catered lunch at Horseshoe Resort, before continuing on to Vettä Nordic Spa, where they spent a few hours relaxing in saunas and cold pools.

The feedback from residents after the event was overwhelmingly positive.

“Our program is really big and spread out over a bunch of different hospitals, so it’s really rare that we’re all together at once, and it’s even more rare that it’s in a non-work setting,” Pio said.

“This was a great opportunity for us to connect outside the pressures of work. What was really cool about the Retreat was that we didn’t talk a lot about work — we left work at work, which is pretty astounding because that’s normally the only thing we talk about when you get a lot of residents together.

“People were just having a good time and enjoying themselves. It’s so valuable for us to create an environment where we’re all actually friends, we get along well, and we can rely on each other, because that will translate to the work environment as well.”