An initiative of the WELL Office

IMG_4620Ice Cream Rounds is a very exciting and popular new initiative of The WELL Office in the Faculty of Medicine. Ice Cream Rounds is a part of The WELL Office’s broader efforts to provide comprehensive, proactive support structures designed to improve resident wellness. Launched in January 2016, Ice Cream Rounds is a confidential, resident-only forum that enables residents to discuss – over delicious gourmet ice cream provided by Le Glacier Bilboquet – the highs and lows of residency, to connect over shared experiences, and to support each other. It is designed to foster camaraderie, communication, and a culture of peer support amongst residents.

Modeled after grand rounds, the Ice Cream Rounds program was designed and developed and is facilitated by Stella Miller, the WELL Office Wellness Consultant and a Certified Canadian Counsellor. Committed to improving the culture around wellness amongst residents, in the Ice Cream Rounds program Miller has created site-specific peer support groups to enable residents to discuss the unique challenges they face in residency. “The atmosphere is open, friendly, and often fun and these attributes – coupled with our commitment to confidentiality – ensure that residents feel comfortable sharing their experiences and problems, and in openly exploring possible solutions,” says Miller.

Ice Cream Rounds are available to residents in all programs, and since its launch, it has expanded rapidly. The Ice Cream Rounds program is currently offered in 12 residency programs and the demand for the program continues to grow. Under the program, residents at participating sites meet at regular intervals – typically three to four times per year – during protected teaching time, such as academic half-days, for one-and-a-half to two hour blocks.

The Ice Cream Rounds program is very popular amongst residents who have participated, with many expressing their appreciation at the fact that it provides a safe outlet in which they can discuss common concerns and FullSizeRenderpossible solutions. The success of the program is a point of pride for Miller and for The WELL Office. But Miller is quick to highlight the important contribution to the success of the program by its sponsor, Le Glacier Bilboquet. Miller says, “We are extremely lucky to have a very generous partnership with Le Glacier Bilboquet – they provide us with delicious ice cream and sorbet for all resident Ice Cream rounds!”

Bilboquet’s sponsorship of Ice Cream Rounds represents the continuation of a long and valued relationship between the McGill and the company’s founder. Pierre S. Morin, President of Le Glacier Bilboquet Inc, explains: “My grandfather graduated from McGill in Law in 1903, my father graduated from McGill in Architecture in 1933, my father-in-law graduated from McGill in Accounting in 1943, my wife graduated from McGill in Finance in 1976 and I could go on. As you can see I have a vibrant attachment to this prestigious University and it is a great honour for Le Glacier Bilboquet to participate in this very interesting initiative. Our mission is to provide joy and smiles and from what we heard, we were able to achieve that with McGill medicine residents, making our jobs more fun!”

The Ice Cream Rounds program provides residents with active support in self- and group-directed problem solving, but the primary benefit of Ice Cream Rounds is experiential. Miller says that a key objective of Ice Cream Rounds is “to assist in the development of a positive, supportive, open and caring culture within residency programs – a culture in which special emphasis is placed on collaborative identification of personal and group wellness needs as well as collaborative learning in the development of realistic strategies for dealing with these needs.”

Ice Cream Rounds also provides an opportunity to ensure that residents within programs feel recognized and supported by their peers, personally and professionally and fosters resilience and solution-focused thinking in residents on a group level.

Program directors who believe their residents may be interested in Ice Cream Rounds should encourage their chief resident, or other responsible person, to contact Stella Miller at

December 8, 2016