Ocean Medical Center physician receives Innovation Grant for research on physician burnout

Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center is pleased to announce that Pramil Cheriyath, M.D., MS., FACP, program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, has been awarded a $5,000 Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) 2019 Innovation Grant. This is the first Innovation Grant of its kind to be awarded to an Internal Medicine Residency Program in the country by the AAIM.

AAIM aims to foster educational innovation in academic internal medicine through a small grants program. The Innovation Grant will be used to support research on the rising prevalence of burnout among physicians. The focus of Dr. Cheriyath's proposal was based on improving Emotional Intelligence (EI) among internal medicine residents using evidence-based medicine workshops. "By measuring Emotional Intelligence, the ability to identify and manage one's emotions as well as the emotions of others, we can implement education that will train residents to be better physicians and will result in less physician burnout," says Dr. Cheriyath.

After a rigorous submission process competing with 116 major universities nationally for this grant, Dr. Cheriyath's proposal was selected as one of eight by the Innovation Grants Subcommittee.

This groundbreaking research will allow us to make concrete recommendations on how to build healthier work environments for providers and patients. We are excited to have such an innovative grant awarded to Dr. Cheriyath so he can implement his findings to increase emotional intelligence and reduce physician burnout."

Vincent Vivona, D.O., J.D., FACP, FCLM, CHCQM, chief medical officer

"These workshops contain content meant to create a foundation of knowledge that guides physicians to recognize and regulate emotions," says Dr. Cheriyath. "Afterwards, their EI scores will be assessed again and we hypothesize an increase in scores from their baseline after their training workshops."

Dr. Cheriyath is working with Hackensack University Medical Center and UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg to recruit subjects for this study.

The rising prevalence of burnout among physicians (over 50 percent in some studies) can often be linked to lower patient satisfaction and quality care. Burned-out doctors are more likely to leave practice, which reduces patient access to continuity of care.

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