Problem Graduate medical education programs and national organizations are becoming more involved in promoting trainee financial wellness. Current literature reports residents have poor financial knowledge, high debt levels, low concern about their finances, and deficits in financial preparedness, but there has been little published on best practices for implementing financial wellness programs for residents or measuring meaningful outcomes of such programs. Approach From June 2017 to 2019, the authors invited 277 internal medicine residents from the Stony Brook University Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center residency programs to participate in financial wellness programs. Each institution held at least one 90-minute financial planning session; Stony Brook also had biannual financial wellness check-ins. Participants were invited to complete a presession, an immediate postsession, and a year-end survey to assess changes in financial planning behaviors. Outcomes Survey response rates were 49% (135/277) for the presession survey, 47% (130/277) for the immediate postsession survey, and 22% (61/277) for the year-end survey. Ninety-six percent (125/130) found the sessions helpful and 98% (120/123) recommended continuing the program in the future. At year-end, the most frequent completed financial planning actions prompted by the session included saving emergency funds, creating a monthly budget, consolidating loans via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, contributing to retirement savings, and participating in an employer's retirement plan. Residents liked that some sessions were during intern orientation before the selection of retirement plans. Postgraduate year (PGY) 1 residents were more likely to complete positive financial planning actions and to agree or strongly agree that the session prompted them to take financial planning actions than PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents. Next Steps While financial wellness programs are well received by internal medicine residents, more robust evidence is needed on curricular delivery methods and program features that promote positive financial planning behaviors.
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