American College of Physicians launches Physician Well-being & Professional Satisfaction initiative

Philadelphia, January 4, 2018 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) has launched a Physician Well-being & Professional Satisfaction initiative with the goal of creating a culture of wellness, improving practice efficiencies, enhancing individual physician well-being, and reducing administrative burdens.

“It is critical to address the many factors that can lead to professional dissatisfaction, burnout, depression, and suicide among physicians,” said ACP’s Board of Regents Chair Susan Thompson Hingle, MD, MACP, who also wrote a column about the initiative in the January issue of ACP Internist. “The American College of Physicians is committed to helping internists experience greater fulfillment by identifying, promoting, and disseminating approaches to improve the practice environment so that they can better serve their patients.”

A key component of ACP’s initiative is establishing and training a dedicated team of ACP Well-being Champions to support their ACP chapter members, practices, and organizations in combatting burnout. ACP also will offer online resources and educational courses at its national and regional meetings.

Relevant courses being offered at ACP’s upcoming Internal Medicine Meeting 2018 in April include:

  • Boost Your Well-being and Professional Satisfaction at Home and Work: Practical Skills for Positive Results (pre-course)
  • Heal Thyself: Improving Physician Wellness – Practical Applications of Wellness Techniques: Breathing, Meditation, and Laughter
  • Health Care as Collaboration: Using Patient – Physician Engagement to Bring Joy and Value to Your Patients, Your Practice, and You
  • Promoting Physician Well-being: Reducing the Burdens and Restoring the Purpose of Practice
  • Targeting the 4th Aim: Improving Physician Wellness and Reducing Burnout in Practice and the Community

Internal Medicine Meeting 2018 also will feature a Relaxation Station in the Exhibit Hall. In addition, ACP is collaborating with patients and other organizations such as the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience to help identify mutually beneficial solutions, including advocacy and regulatory efforts.

It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of the causes of physician dissatisfaction and lack of well-being are systems issues. ACP’s Patients Before Paperwork effort addresses systems challenges and to seeks to reinvigorate the patient-physician relationship by reducing excessive administrative burdens. ACP strategies for this effort are to:

  • Identify and prioritize which complexities are of the top concern for ACP members and their patients.
  • Educate ACP members, other physicians, consumer advocates, and policymakers on what makes up administrative complexities, including the intent of the requirement and how the complexity impacts patients and physicians.
  • Implement the most effective advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and practice support approaches to help mitigate or eliminate the top priority complexities and to help ACP members (and other physicians) address those complexities that cannot be eliminated.
  • Achieve results that reduce physician burnout, help restore the joy of practice, and reinvigorate the patient-physician relationship.

ACP’s “Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Healthcare” paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine in March 2017 presents a framework to analyze administrative tasks and determine whether they may need to be challenged, revised, or eliminated entirely.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.