Michael Rowland, PhD
Associate Dean, Faculty and Professional Development
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Concerns regarding burnout in health care have received attention from many different and diverse stakeholders: individual health care providers, various health care associations, specialty associations, the AAMC, and numerous others. To assist academic health institutions in the fight against burnout, more recently, academic medical centers have witnessed the advent of a new player, the chief wellness officer. This is someone dedicated to overseeing and working to preempt any problems and job demands that increase stress and burnout in faculty; more importantly, this is someone who can authorize and provide creative solutions to these ongoing problems. Stanford Medicine has designed a chief wellness officer course for senior-level individuals with organizational leadership experience who may be interested in serving as a leader in the organization to combat burnout and increase physician wellness. As noted in the FAQ sheet of the Stanford Medicine Chief Wellness Officer Course, this one-week course experience is “designed for senior leaders who have the responsibility for their organization’s physician well-being, engagement and satisfaction efforts.”
For our faculty affairs/development colleagues confronted with this increasingly troublesome issue, having adequate go-to resources and partners at our fingertips to guide us during difficult and stressful times is critical. Below are some resources that can assist us in this work. The list is not exhaustive, nor is it intended to be, but it is intended to provide some handy references to increase faculty growth, well-being, and professional development.
One available and easily accessible resource is the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. Its website offers detailed information on contributions to clinician burnout, well-being, and solutions. It provides resources to assist institutions in reducing incidents of burnout among clinicians, residents, medical students, and other health care professionals. While the focus is on clinicians, many of the resources apply to basic science faculty, other health care providers, nurses, etc. as well. The NAM resources include actual case studies that explore organizational approaches and strategies to support clinician well-being. The Clinician Well-Being Knowledge Hub defines clinician burnout, outlines its causes and effects, and offers solutions and resources, including peer-reviewed literature on 14 different topics related to burnout. Colleagues may find the section on “validated instruments to assess work-related dimensions of well-being” particularly helpful, as it offers details about several inventories, including the history of the instrument and outcomes. This section offers detailed information on the development of each survey instrument, testing procedures, and purpose of the instrument. Especially beneficial is the section highlighting frequently asked questions about the instruments, such as best practices and combining different instruments.
Below are selected journal articles, books, and web resources to assist you in delivering resources and strategies to faculty and organizations for building repositories and infrastructures to support efforts in faculty affairs and faculty development.
Papers and Articles
- Brown MT. Practical ways to address physician burnout and restore joy in practice. Fam Pract Manag. November 2019;26(6):7-10.
- Castellucci M. Chief wellness officer role at the center of effort to reduce burnout. Modern Healthcare. March 9, 2019. www.modernhealthcare.com/physicians/chief-wellness-officer-role-center-effort-reduce-burnout.
- DeChant PF, Acs A, Rhee KB, Boulanger TS, Snowdon JL, Tutty MA, Sinsky CA, Thomas CKJ. Effect of organization-directed workplace interventions on physician burnout: a systematic review. Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes. 2019;(4):384-408.
- Kishore S, Ripp J, Shanafelt T, et al. Making the case for the chief wellness officer in America’s health systems: a call to action. Health Affairs Blog [blog]. Oct. 26, 2018. doi:10.1377/hblog20181025.308059.
- Mari S., Meyen R, Kim B. Resident-led organizational initiatives to reduce burnout and improve wellness. BMC Medical Education. 2019(1):437-447.
- Maslach C., Leiter MP. Reversing burnout: how to rekindle your passion for your work. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Winter 2005:43-49.
- Schwartz R, Shanafelt TD, Gimmler C, Osterberg L. Developing infrastructure for physician wellness: qualitative insights from VA physicians. BMC Health Services Resources. 2020(1):7-9.
- Shanafelt, TD, Mungo M, Schmitgen J, Storz KA, Reeves D, Hayes SN, Buskirk SJ. Longitudinal study evaluating the association between physician burnout and changes in professional work effort. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2016;91:422-431. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.02.001.
- Shanafelt T, Goh J, and Sinsky C. The business case for investing in physician well-being. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2017;177(12):1826-1832.
- Shapiro DE, Duquette C, Abbott LM, Babineau T, Pearl A, Haidet P. Beyond burnout: a physician wellness hierarchy designed to prioritize interventions at the systems level. Am J Med. 2019;132:556-563.
- West CP, Dyrbye LN, Shanafelt TD. Physician burnout: contributors, consequences and solutions. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;283(6):516-529.
- West CP, Drybe LN, Rabatin JT, Davidson JH, Multari A, et al. Intervention to promote physician well-being, job satisfaction, and professionalism: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;(4):527-33.
- National Academy of Medicine.
- National Academy of Medicine resources.
- Stanford Medicine WellMD Chief Wellness Officer Course FAQ Sheet and course description.
- AMA Ed Hub: Steps Forward.
Books on Burnout and Resilience
- Ansari-Winn D. Doctor, Heal Thyself: A Guide for Physicians to Prevent Burnout and Promote Wellbeing. Baltimore, MD: Purposely Created Publishing Group; 2019.
- Drummond D. Stop Physician Burnout: What to Do When Working Harder Isn’t Working. Middletown, DE: Heritage Press Publications, LLC; 2014.
- DeChant P, Shannon DW. Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine. North Charleston, SC: Simpler Healthcare; 2016.
- McCallister DE, Hamilton T. Transforming the Health of Practice: An Organizational and Personal Approach to Physician Wellbeing. Switzerland AG: Springer Nature; 2019.
- Simonds GR, Sotile WM. The Thriving Physician: How to Avoid Burnout by Choosing Resilience Throughout Your Medical Career. Pensacola, FL: Studer Group; 2018.
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Stress/Crisis Hotline: 650-368-6655