Self-Care Leads to Better Patient Care
APMA cares about you and your health. We have identified and reviewed many resources on the subject of clinician well-being and burnout. Take some time to learn more about burnout, the importance of work-life balance, and how to talk about substance abuse, suicide, and other difficult topics. APMA has committed to collaborate with other concerned organizations to end clinician burnout.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders and is devoted to transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Through clinical research, education and awareness, NIMH is working towards a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.
The Physician Support Line is a free service for physicians and medical students who are looking for mental health advice and support. Volunteer psychiatrists who are specially trained in mental wellness are available seven days a week to discuss immediate life stressors. All calls are completely confidential and no appointment is necessary.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center is a federally supported resource center with a variety of information aimed at understanding the scope of the suicide problem in the US and advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Considering the current environment surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure you take a look at Headspace, mindfulness for your everyday life. The app and web version of Headspace are free now for health-care providers by registering with your individual National Provider Identification (NPI) number. Check out the full library of guided meditations, sleep sounds, and bedtime exercises to help you de-stress. If you don’t know your NPI number, visit the NPI Registry.
Many clinicians already face anxiety, burnout, depression, stress, and suicide; the COVID-19 crisis is presenting an even greater hardship that can exacerbate existing levels of burnout and mental health stressors. The National Academy of Medicine has compiled a list of strategies and resources to support the health and well-being of clinicians providing health care during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare is committed to supporting health-care professionals with additional resources on caring for their patients, themselves, and their teams during this challenging time. The Schwartz Center is sharing information on Caring for Yourself & Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Managing Healthcare Workers’ Stress and Leading with Compassion: Supporting Healthcare Workers in a Crisis. Leaders are presenting ways that health-care workers can manage stress, and what health-care leaders can do to support their teams during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you want to exercise but don’t know where to start, want some ideas on what to do, or want someone to show you how to do something, check out Fitness Blender, a web-based workout video platform for every fitness level.
Take a moment to identify your “Well-Being Index” through this quick, confidential survey from the Mayo Clinic to access your own well-being and see how you compare with your peers. For access to your placement on the well-being continuum, use the provided Well-Being Index. Use the following invitation code:
Juggling professional and personal responsibilities can sometimes prove to be a bit overwhelming. APMA recognizes physician well-being is a topic of interest to our membership. Below are a range of resources for physician well-being and resilience. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to help your profession tackle physician burnout, contact Dyane Tower, DPM.
APMA's Physicians' Recovery Network (PRN)
The Physicians’ Recovery Network identifies available resources for impaired (whether by substance abuse, physical or mental conditions) for podiatric physicians and/or members of the podiatric medical family to assist them to return to full life and effective professional practice. Biff Kramer, DPM, provides a 10-minute video introduction on how substance use disorders/addiction issues can happen to anyone—explaining how even the best and brightest can have up to a 20-percent chance at developing personally harmful substance habits. But with a little support, about 80 percent of affected physicians make a full recovery. Dr. Kramer introduces how the APMA's PRN serves members with great dedication, discretion, and empathy for doctors impacted by this issue.
50 Ways to Take a Break
This colorful graphic identifying multiple ways of de-stressing can be printed and posted for office use.
American Psychological Association: The Road to Resilience
Read the American Psychological Association's guide to resilience and coping mechanisms.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Joy in Work
Highlighting the importance of a joyful workforce in health care, this resource offers a published paper and numerous videos of leading experts who share principles, techniques, and a framework to find joy in work and help avoid burnout.
International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous
International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA) is a fellowship of doctors and their families whose primary purpose is to support one another in recovery from alcoholism and other drug addictions. The website provides information and resources for members, their families, and friends. The IDAA HelpLine is a network of volunteer doctors who talk to other doctors about addiction or related problems. The IDAA helps members find local meetings in their area.
Mayo Clinic Program on Physician Well-Being
The high prevalence of physician burnout costs this country 3.4 billion dollars per year in medical errors that can lead to increased patient mortality and medical malpractice. It also poses a serious threat to the quality, affordability, and compassion of care the medical industry strives to provide. The Mayo Clinic's multi-program approach to address burnout includes providing resources to promote well-being, implementing control studies, increasing physician efficiency, increasing resilience, and building social support networks.
AAMC News: Building a Framework for Clinician Well-Being and Resilience and APMA's Statement of Support
The American Podiatric Medical Association and National Academy of Medicine members commit to collaboration while combating clinician burnout not only through identification of evidence-based effective ways to alleviate factors of physician burnout, but by effecting delivery of these means with immediacy. Physician burnout is contributing to an American health-care crisis from an increasing shortage of physicians.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reported on the July 2017 meeting of the National Academy of Medicine, which highlighted the greater risk of burn-out experienced by minorities, women, and young physicians.
AAMC News: When Physicians Become Patients
This article reflects a call to action from Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and CEO of AAMC. As a psychiatrist, he has treated physicians for burnout, depression, and suicidal ideation. He discusses the upward trend of this ideation and its toll, which is not only personal, but also professional, affecting patient care.
AMA Model Bill: Physician Health Programs Act
This act was created to allow for early identification of physicians with potentially impairing conditions (e.g., substance abuse, mental health, medical disease), in order to provide them with access to professional resources and support.
Ending Physician Burnout: It’s Time for Physicians to Take Back Control of Their Environment and How They Deliver Care
This article by Bridget Duffy, MD, chief medical officer at Vocera, discusses the importance of physician well-being and how streamlined technologies can help mitigate physician burnout.
Federation of State Medical Boards: Physician Wellness and Burnout
The report and recommendations of the Workgroup on Physician Wellness and Burnout of the Federation of State Medical Boards approach physician wellness and burnout from a non-punitive perspective to advance a positive cultural change that reduces the stigma among and about physicians seeking treatment for mental, behavioral, physical, or other medical needs of their own.
Federation of State Physician Health Programs
The data indicates a 15–20-percent lifetime prevalence of substance use disorders and mental health problems among physicians. Physicians should have the opportunity for rehabilitation, confidential support, and access to community specific resources. The Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) provides a forum for education and exchange of information among state physician health programs. The FSPHP aims to support physician health programs in improving the health of medical professionals and enhance awareness of issues related to physician health and impairment.
Medscape Article: Physicians Experience Highest Suicide Rate of Any Profession
The alarming one-per-day completed-suicide rate among physicians, residents, and medical students (28–40/100,00, double the rate of the general population), is driven mainly by the stigma within this group related to seeking professional help for depression, alcoholism, and treatable mental disorders. Growing awareness of this problem has allowed for implementation of initiatives to prevent physician suicide. Open discussions allow physicians, residents, and medical students to view suicide as an illness that needs treatment in an effort to shed the stigma that is acting as a major obstacle to seeking professional care.
Medscape Article: Resident Suicide: A Tragedy, and What Can Help?
A brief discussion of burnout among residents and medical students.
Medscape Article: Study Identifies Risk Factors for Physician Suicide
Several risk factors for suicide among healthcare professionals are identified, including age.
Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2018
Medscape’s National Physician Burnout & Depression Report describes the variety of factors that contribute to physician burnout.
National Academy of Medicine: Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience
The National Academy of Medicine has created several committees to raise the visibility of physician burnout, improve understanding of well-being of physicians, and determine ways to improve patient care by improving the overall well-being of physicians. This site provides links to a wealth of information about the five working groups that are researching physician burnout, as well as the latest research in physician self-care.
New England Journal of Medicine Perspective: To Care Is Human
"To Care is Human—Collectively Confronting the Clinician-Burnout Crisis" tackles four central goals: increasing the visibility of clinician stress and burnout; improving health-care organizations’ baseline understanding of the challenges to clinician well-being; identifying evidence-based solutions; and monitoring the effectiveness of implementation of these solutions.
ScienceDaily Medical Errors and Physician Burnout Article
This article, "Medical errors may stem more from physician burnout than unsafe health care settings," links physician burnout to medical error, and reports on the national epidemic of high burnout linked to suicide.
STAT Moral Injury Article
This article, "Physicians aren’t 'burning out.' They’re suffering from moral injury," identifies physician burnout as a symptom of the broken health-care system, resulting in moral injury as physicians are forced to go against their will to provide high-quality care.