Purpose: COVID-19 drastically changed work environments and subsequently the medical physics trainee experience. To better understand and address the effects of this change, we performed a self-assessment of our lab culture.
Methods: In an anonymous survey, we asked each lab member to identify and rank up to 10 values of a healthy lab culture. The participants then scored how well the lab embodied their contributed values before and during COVID-19 (1-5 scale). The results of the survey were analyzed in a live group session. In another live session, we performed a literature review where groups of 4-5 members were tasked with reviewing and presenting 2 peer-reviewed lab culture manuscripts. In three additional live sessions, we finalized 10 values, reflected on how well the lab embodied each value and proposed action items to address any deficiencies. Most of the lab was present at each session and the discussions were facilitated in large (21 people) and small (3-4 people) groups.
Results: Values identified as being necessary to sustain a healthy lab culture were attitude, accountability, teamwork/collaboration, communication, diversity/inclusion, emotional intelligence, integrity, training, well-being, and adaptability/crisis-management. The most frequently occurring and highest-ranked value among responses were teamwork/collaboration and attitude, respectively. The satisfaction score averaged over all values before and during COVID-19 was 4.39 ± 0.77 and 4.17 ± 0.95, respectively. Changes made to the lab as a result of our self-assessment included simulating trainee office environments with ‘coding hour’ zoom rooms, dedicating a monthly meeting to socializing, and creating a wellness channel on Microsoft Teams.
Conclusion: We successfully assessed the culture of our lab before and during COVID-19 using an anonymous survey and five, 2-3-hour group sessions. We determined 10 values for our group to embody, identified weak points in our lab culture, and proactively proposed and enacted solutions to address them.
Not Applicable / None Entered.