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In the News

“National Physician Burnout Expert Shares Insights: ‘We Can Certainly Do Better’”

By Christopher Cheney, HealthLeaders

Dr. Tait Shanafelt discusses changes that need to be made at the organizational level and within the culture of medicine itself to help combat clinician burnout. While organizations must improve their health care delivery models, it is also important that individual physicians not see themselves as victims of a system they cannot control.

For physicians, being compassionate with themselves is a skill that can be learned. Instead of a mindset of being perfect, there needs to be a mindset of always learning and getting better.

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“Peers Offer Welcome, Ongoing Support”

By Charlotte Huff, ACP Internist

Many medical institutions have begun to launch peer support programs as a response to the overwhelming stress, exhaustion, and burnout many physicians are feeling. This Internist article, featuring the work of many of our Well-being Champions, discusses the unique benefits that peer-to-peer programs can provide to struggling clinicians.

Peer support programs will ideally counteract the sometimes engrained mindsets and work dynamics that can discourage physicians from seeking care…. As leaders of clinical teams, physicians have been trained to fix things and don't tend to admit vulnerability in any regard.

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“Physicians as Caregivers Balance Professional, Personal Roles”

By Janet Colwell, ACP Internist

As the population ages, an increasing number of clinicians are finding themselves in a new role—that of caregiver. This allows physicians a new perspective of the health care system but can also strain boundaries and shift the already tenuous boundaries between a physician's personal and professional lives.

It's important for physicians to acknowledge that they might need help dealing with their emotions …. Physicians often do not follow the advice they give their own patients about taking care of their personal well-being and health during times of stress.

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“Bringing Health Care Into Communities”

By Ahmed Sougueh and Jokho Farah, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Community health workers at the front lines of the pandemic are providing essential care, including mental health treatment and COVID-19 testing, to underserved populations who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Across the world, some of the most important factors contributing to poor health are rooted in social determinants of health, including the cost and affordability of care, language barriers, lack of experience with health systems, transportation needs, childcare, safety, and other social issues.

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Discuss this topic with other ACP members in ACP's Physician Well-being and Professional Fulfillment Forum.

Back to the January 15, 2021 issue of ACP IM Thriving