Physician burnout and mental health have been on my mind lately. Considering the many articles I’ve read recently on these topics, I’m sure it’s been on your mind too. I’m part of an initiative at my organization to address physician burnout and improve wellness among staff, both at the individual and systemic levels. I find this recent article on Kevin MD an interesting idea. Given all the metrics we tailor our system to based on patient care, safety and satisfaction, it’s an innovative twist to ask that our wellness, or lack thereof, be a goal marker as well.
Ultimately, our well-being affects how well we care for our patients and even their outcomes. The cynical part of me thinks the only way we can really get our healthcare system to change and address the epidemic of physician burnout is to tie those levels to dollar signs. There is a strong argument for the financial benefits of physician wellness and many organizations seem to be acknowledging that reality and investing more in this issue.
As mothers and physicians we’re used to putting others’ needs before our own. But I’ve realized over the years that I’m a better caregiver – to my children and to my patients – when I’m practicing good self-care. In the world of healthcare though, systems need to be in place to support that ability.
What are your thoughts? What has been successful or not so successful at your organization? Has your workplace found ways to encourage not only personal resilience but also support an organizational culture of wellness?
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