Expert group presents framework to address physician burnout

Physician burnout continues to be a pervasive issue, with more than 50 percent of doctors reporting problems such as dissatisfaction, high rates of depression, and increased suicide risk. To address it, the Collaborative for Healing and Renewal in Medicine--a group of medical educators, academic leaders, and wellness research experts from across the country co-chaired by Jonathan Ripp, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Well-Being and Resilience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai--has presented a framework for individuals, organizations, and health systems.

"The Charter on Physician Well-Being," published online in JAMA on Thursday, March 29, at 11:01 am EDT and supported by the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges, is a model for health care organizations to develop regulations and policies that align with best practices for promoting physician well-being; identify strategic priorities and interventions that maximize meaningful engagement and job satisfaction; build partnerships with local and national groups that support advocacy efforts and collaborative solutions; and guide individual physicians in their own practices in service of both patient needs and individual fulfillment.

"Each day our physicians and clinicians care for patients and families in need in a constantly changing health care system," said Dr. Ripp. "They are driven in this pursuit, often putting the patient first, but in some cases they suffer burnout and depression from overwhelming demands. The providers themselves also need to be supported in their mission with adequate resources and effective tools to promote well-being--ultimately, they and the patient will benefit."

"The strength of a health care system is reliant on the health and well-being of our clinicians, faculty, and students," said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, President for Academic Affairs at Mount Sinai Health System, and a renowned expert on the psychobiological mechanisms of human resilience to stress. "This is an important priority for Mount Sinai and many institutions across the country. This Charter provides a blueprint for addressing burnout and developing programs that optimize physical health and well-being."​​

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