Physician Wellbeing

This page offers resources for physicians of all ages and career stages to help you find joy and meaning in your work. Below, find information on the meaning of joy in medical practice, the immediate crisis of physician burnout, tools for transforming your practice into a less stressful work environment, strategies to embrace meaning and awareness in your own life, and more.

Mental Health of Healthcare Workers Podcast 

In this podcast, The Happiness Lab host, Dr. Laurie Santos of Yale, talks to doctors on how they cope with isolation and lack of self-compassion. They explore doctor’s mental space as they explore advocacy in crisis, meditation, courage and more. See how here.

Headspace

Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate in time of need.

Exploring Tools and Resources for Overcoming Burnout

Watch on YouTube

Speaker Suggested Resources:

A Team-Based Care Model That Improves Job Satisfaction (Family Practice Management, March-April 2018)
IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work (Institute for Healthcare Improvement)
Physician Health First Wellness Planner (American Academy of Family Physicians)
Clinician Well-Being Knowledge Hub (National Academy of Medicine)
Steps Forward (American Medical Association)
WellMD (Stanford Medicine)

Thanks to Ohio AFP for sharing these resources through a grant from AAFP – Foundation.


Employed physicians face unique stresses in practice as they often lack autonomy and influence over business decisions. Here are four ways to protect your wellbeing.

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The AAFP introduced Physician Health First, the first-ever comprehensive initiative devoted to improving physician well-being. As part of the initiative, the AAFP launched an interactive web portal with a wealth of wellbeing resources for members.

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We all intuitively know what burnout looks like, but the progression of the main symptoms- exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy - may not be the same for everyone. Learn about the early warning signs and how to make a change before it gets too far.

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Burnout may be most noticeable in physicians, but it starts in medical school and residency. Here’s what we can do about it.

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Check out a few tools below


How to switch from burnout to resilience.

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A perspective on how family physicians can find meaning in their work and rediscover the joy in their practice.

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How mindfulness saved one oncologist’s practice and transformed his perspective on patient care. Includes a short, simple exercise for you to start trying mindfulness as well.

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Helpful tips on reevaluating negative thought patterns and making a plan for preventing burnout.

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The AMA has developed a series of modules focusing on wellness, resiliency, and preventing burnout, as well as other useful topics.

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System Tools


While physicians can certainly make changes in their own lives to create balance and joy, the problem of burnout won’t disappear unless employers and medical educators also embrace a physician wellness as a priority. Here’s what a few employers, residency programs, and medical schools are doing to combat burnout in the workplace and help train happier doctors.

Stanford’s Balance in Life program focuses on the professional, physical, psychological, and social health of residents through mentorship and a variety of creative interventions.

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Residents understand the problem of burnout and have many ideas, some large and some easy to implement, on how to create a healthier, more successful educational experience. Here are some of their ideas.

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