The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is joining the National Academy of Medicine to help promote a program that prioritizes the well-being of physicians, called the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.
The partnership comes about in response to the grave need that exists for physicians to have the support needed to continue their life-saving and life-improving work.
"The Action Collaborative will be able to synthesize the work, expertise, and influence of many organizations in an effort to address systemic causes of clinician burnout and dissatisfaction, amplify the importance of organizations prioritizing clinician wellness, addressing knowledge gaps related to effectiveness of solutions, and collate resources into an accessible on-line hub," Clif Knight, senior vice president for education with the AAFP, told Patient Daily.
According to Knight, the collaboration will help to prevent burnout at the basic level, which is important considering that burnout affects the areas of emergency medicine, urology, physical medicine and rehabilitation and family medicine, based on a December 2015 Mayo Clinic study.
"We also know that early and mid-career physicians, physicians paid based entirely on volume, and physicians with children under age 21 are more affected by burnout," Knight said. "In our internal surveys, we have learned that family physicians who own their practices have a higher degree of professional satisfaction compared to those who are employed by others."
Though many factors cause burnout, according to Knight, it is imperative that physicians pay attention to their own goals and areas that give them satisfaction, and invest time there.
"Burnout is a symptom of system, organization, and/or practice dysfunction," said Knight, explaining that the AAFP is creating systems that will minimize the regulatory and administrative challenges facing physicians and healthcare institutions.
"Though burnout is a system problem, physicians can work to develop positive coping and resilience habits. Evidence supports mindfulness, meditation, intentional gratitude, good sleep habits, and healthy exercise as all contributing to personal well-being," Knight said.
Moving forward, the AAFP is holding a Family Physician Health and Well-Being Conference in spring 2018, which will help guests to have a greater understanding about what factors are at play in well-being, as well as give guests access to tools and resources that will assist them in creating personalized plans for their own well-being.