Well-Being and Emotional Resiliency in Academic Medicine
Well-being in academic medicine is a critical issue facing faculty members, clinicians, researchers, residents, and students. The pandemic has only heightened the need to solve problems around well-being in academic medicine, but the AAMC addressed these issues long before. Among other initiatives, the AAMC was an early participant in the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, a network of organizations dedicated to promoting clinician well-being across all career stages and specialties.
The well-being resources on this page have been curated by the AAMC with the help of the AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS). Please email Eric Weissman, senior director of CFAS engagement, if you have any books, articles, or other resources to share with your colleagues and we will consider including them on these pages. To engage with the AAMC’s faculty well-being initiatives in more depth, contact Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, chair of the CFAS Faculty Resilience Committee and member of the CFAS Ad Board.
The Latest in Well-Being
- American Diagnosis’: Two Indigenous Students Share Their Path to Medicine - Kaiser Health News
‘Rezilience,’ Season 4 of the ‘American Diagnosis’ podcast, traces the resilience of Indigenous peoples in the U.S. taking action to protect the health and well-being of their communities.
- Can Technology Solve the Burnout It Helped Cause? - Medical Economics
This article discusses new technology that resolves problems with the EHR as a way to reduce the physician burnout that has been partially caused by the ubiquitous electronic record keeping technology.
- Staff Burnout: Radical Changes to Address Radical Challenges
Becker’s Hospital Review called for utilizing a flexible workplace design strategy to accommodate clinicians of different generations and designing health care staff respite spaces that include shaded, well-furnished outdoor areas or indoor spaces that have appealing designs and access to natural light.
- How Social Drivers of Health Lead to Physician Burnout
Medscape reported on how physicians’ burnout is driven by deep frustration at their inability to adequately address the social determinants of their patients’ poor health.
- Burnout May Be Changing Your Brain. Here’s What To Do
According to an article from CNN, burnout can impact our ability to pay attention and retain memories, making it harder to learn new things and increasing the risk for mistakes.
- The Health Care Exodus Is an Untreated Trauma Crisis: Doctors and Nurses Aren’t Just Experiencing Burnout
Slate described how the exodus of health care workers is not just a result of burnout, but also because of the trauma they’ve experienced during the pandemic.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Physician Support Line: 1-888-409-0141
- Mental Health America: a community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Interactive Screening Program: Institutions can implement this online program utilized by mental health services.
- Preventing Physician Suicide: an online module from the American Medical Association’s (AMA's) Steps Forward initiative (0.5 CME credits).
- Validated Instruments To Assess Work-Related Dimensions of Well-Being: from the National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.
- The Rise of Wellness Initiatives in Health Care: Using National Survey Data to Support Effective Well-Being Champions and Wellness Programs
The CFAS Faculty Resilience Committee authored this report that summarizes the remaining challenges for institutions in addressing health care worker well-being.
- Medical Faculty Need to Foster Resilience in Students (and in Themselves)
“Do as I say, not as I do,” won't solve the problem. Faculty members in academic medicine must model and support self-care for students.
- Gender-Based Differences in Burnout: Issues Faced by Women Physicians
The National Academy of Medicine described how women often experience burnout due to a number of unique factors, including potentially lacking role models, tackling challenges of dual-career couples, reconciling having a finite number of years for childbearing, facing lack of parity in salaries, receiving a lower number of promotions to leadership positions, confronting both conscious and unconscious biases, and experiencing higher rates of sexual harassment.
- Academic Medicine May 2021 edition
In May 2021, the AAMC’s peer-reviewed journal Academic Medicine focused on well-being, mental health, and burnout.
- Supporting Graduate Student Mental Health and Well-Being: Evidence-Informed Recommendations for the Graduate Community
The Council of Graduate Schools and the Jed Foundation collaborated to create an evidence base to inform future policies, programs, and resources for supporting graduate students’ mental health and well-being.
- Preventing a Parallel Pandemic — A National Strategy to Protect Clinicians’ Well-Being
Former President of the National Academy of Medicine Victor Dzau, MD, AAMC President Emeritus Darrell G. Kirch, MD, and President and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Thomas Nasca, MD, wrote a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine on protecting clinician well-being at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Burnout Among U.S. Medical School Faculty
An AAMC Analysis in Brief showed that in February 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 20% of faculty members across rank, department, and gender reported feeling like they were burning out.
- It's Not Burnout, It's Moral Injury
This YouTube video from Dr. Zubin Damania (aka ZDoggMD) describes what happens to health care professionals when they can’t give their patients the care they know they could give if they had the necessary tools, resources, and autonomy.
- To Care Is Human — Collectively Confronting the Clinician-Burnout Crisis
The New England Journal of Medicine featured a perspective from Drs. Dzau, Kirch, and Nasca announcing the launch of the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience to combat the clinician-burnout crisis. The Action Collaborative was launched as a partnership between the National Academy of Medicine, the AAMC, and the ACGME.
- A Doctor's Dozen: Twelve Strategies for Personal Health and a Culture of Wellness
CFAS Faculty Resilience Committee Chair and CFAS Ad Board member Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, MPH, wrote a book outlining twelve strategies for personal health and maintaining a culture of wellness.
- Combating Clinician Burnout With Community-Building
A 2018 NEJM Catalyst article explores improving morale and reducing turnover with peer-support meetings and shared group email lists for clinician.
- AMA STEPS Forward®
A collection of modules from the AMA that offer CME credits, address common practice challenges and offer solutions that aim to save 2-3 hours a day, reduce physician burnout and improve well-being, optimize team-based workflows, and enhance patient experiences. This also includes a module on issues of racial and health equity.
- Getting to Inbox Zero
Petra Lewis, MBBS, professor of radiology and obstetrics and gynecology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, presents a video on how to avoid being overwhelmed by email by effectively managing your inbox.
- Task Managers
Petra Lewis, MBBS, also describes how to manage numerous tasks effectively by using task managers.
Conferences, Programs, and Courses
- Learning Resources for Leading: Top Skills, Attributes, and Behaviors Critical for Success
This collection of resources is intended to help department chairs develop skills in setting expectations, working effectively with colleagues, developing leadership skills, and dealing with challenging responsibilities.
Physician and Health Professional Well-Being
This course from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and the Ardmore Institute of Health was created to describe and apply approaches that support health professionals in achieving and sustaining a total healthy lifestyle, including eating a whole food, plant-based diet, being physically active, and engaging in mindfulness and positive psychology activities.
Faculty Training in Mind-Body Medicine
Originating at Georgetown University School of Medicine, this experiential program provides faculty at health professional schools with the training, tools, and strategic thinking necessary to implement the course in Mind-Body Medicine Skills at their institutions. During a three-day weekend retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, participants will be introduced to meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, breathing techniques, and other mind-body approaches that can alleviate stress and foster self-awareness and self-care.