October 18, 2019

IM Thriving Masthead


Meeting folks where they are: Building communities of well-being that transform lives


In this issue, we celebrate and honor the power of our community-building efforts to strengthen and amplify well-being and professional fulfillment locally and globally. Like the butterfly whose wing flaps can cause a tsunami, our efforts will eventually lead to the zero burnout and thriving environments we want for Internal Medicine and the world.

Remember that you can always share advice and ideas with your community of Well-being Champions in your private forum!

We have a few calls to action and resources to support you in your work of building rich communities of well-being:

  • Submit an application to the WBPF Poster Showcase that will be featured at Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 to showcase our well-being efforts;
  • Register for the October 30 webinar, “Be a Champion! Advocacy Tips for the Busy Physician,” to learn first-hand tips on effecting change through advocacy;
  • Read medical student Alex Maloof's inspiring “From the Trenches” story of promoting well-being through the power of celebrating community;
  • Check out practice transformation resources, in the “Noteworthy Resources” section;
  • Learn more about the 3rd Conversation™ in the “In the News” segment;
  • And sign-up for one-on-one coaching with Kerri Palamara, MD, FACP.

We love hearing from you! Reach out to us at acpwellbeing@acpprograms.org

Cheers to building transforming communities!

Crissy Walter, Clare Sipler, and Your ACP Well-being Team

Webinar for Well-Being Champions

Register for the Be a Champion! Advocacy Tips for the Busy Physician

October 30 at 12:00 p.m. EDT

Image from https://blogs.aspect.com/

You can be an advocate! Join Brooke Rockwern from ACP's Regulatory Affairs team and Dr. Eileen Barrett from the Physician Well-Being and Professional Fulfillment Task Force as they discuss what ACP is doing to advocate on behalf of physician well-being and steps you can take to advocate in your own community and chapter.

Speakers: Brooke Rockwern, MPH - Associate, Health IT Policy; Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, FHM, FACP – ACP Board of Regents, Well-Being and Professional Fulfillment Task Force

Call for Poster Submissions!

We invite chapter leaders and Well-Being Champions to submit entries for the WBPF poster presentation at Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 by December 1, 2019. The goal of the poster presentation is to highlight how you, our Well-Being Champions, are implementing programming to build communities of well-being, combat burnout, and help the internal medicine community thrive.

We will exhibit the posters of the top four winning proposals at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 WBPF poster showcase area in the Clinical Skills Center. The winning submission's primary author will receive complimentary meeting registration to Internal Medicine Meeting 2020, an opportunity to share your work at the champion reception on Friday, April 24, 2020, and a plaque. Winners will be notified by e-mail on or before January 10, 2020.

Poster Proposal Submission Process

Submit your proposal to acpwellbeing@acpprograms.org on or before December 1,2019.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Poster due December 1, 2019. Submit your proposal to acpwellbeing@acpprograms.org
  • Review process from December 2, 2019 - January 6, 2020
  • Results notification on or before January 10, 2020


For more information, please contact your ACP Well-Being and Professional Fulfillment team members at acpwellbeing@acpprograms.org


Noteworthy Resources

AMA fights burnout with new Practice Transformation Initiative

By AMA, Press Release

Excerpt: “To make physician burnout a thing of the past, the initiative will support research and advance evidence-based solutions by collaborating with organizations who are committed to the practice transformation journey. Participating health systems and practices will take on improving joy in medicine by using validated assessment tools to measure burnout; field-testing interventions that are designed to improve workflows, applying practice science research methodology to evaluate impact and sharing best practices within an AMA facilitated learning community.”

See the AMA Practice Transformation Initiative resources today!

Case Studies-NAM Clinician Well-Being Knowledge Hub

By the National Academy of Medicine (NAM)

Excerpt: “[NAM Clinician Well-Being] case studies highlight organizational initiatives that have demonstrated success in supporting well-being and reducing burnout among practicing clinicians, trainees, and/or students. The case studies are intended to inform and inspire organizations facing similar challenges and seeking similar outcomes. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution for clinician well-being, techniques and resources described in the case studies may provide a useful starting point for other groups.

Case studies were authored by members of the National Academy of Medicine's (NAM's) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience and NAM staff on the basis of extensive interviews, document review, and site visits. Each case study was externally peer reviewed.”

Check out the Case Studies on the NAM Clinician Well-Being Knowledge Hub today!


From the Trenches

This month, we are featuring a personal essay by Alex Maloof. Alex is a second-year medical student at UCSD School of Medicine and founder of the Minority Association of Premedical Students.

A new patient is impatiently waiting to be seen; your e-mail is maxed out; you have a long to-do list. On top of that, you still have to study for tomorrow. This is a familiar scenario for medical students. Being “in the trenches” as a student and fighting for your patients' lives, yet still preserving the life you wish to lead is a constant battle— but a battle worth fighting. In addition to prayer, meditation, and regular exercise, I combat burnout by creating platforms for students to be mentally prepared and emotionally fortified to face the rigors of medical school.

It has been empowering to help younger physicians-to-be who are entering this battle without the armor or weapons to tackle burnout. One of the most important is a sense of identity and social connection. In college, I founded the Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS), through UCSD School of Medicine (SOM) to build a more inclusive and welcoming family of like-minded premedical students from historically excluded groups. I feel the greatest satisfaction when students tell me how MAPS makes them feel like they are a part of a larger, supportive community that guides them in becoming well-rounded physicians.

It is essential for medical students to create unity in a high-intensity profession built around productivity, but it is so easy to feel isolated amid the musket fire. As President of UCSD SOM Mentors, I organize monthly office hours for undergraduates to receive advice from medical students and pair them with medical student mentors. Mentors get the satisfaction of sharing their knowledge and experiences, and these conversations strengthen our greater connections to each other as we learn to provide the best care for patients and their families. I am working with Dr. Tammy Lin on an exciting program, called Med Mindset, to extend this type of mentorship to high school students who dream of becoming physicians.

In order to arrive at my position today, I have my share of battle scars. I am grateful for them though, because I can use them as weapons and inspiration to help the next generation achieve their goals without burning out!

Want to be featured in our newsletter? Share your success stories and those of inspirational colleagues (both ACP Champions and partners) by e-mailing acpwellbeing@acponline.org


In the News

The Business of Health Care Depends on Exploiting Doctors and Nurses

By Dr. Danielle Ofri, The New York Times

Excerpt: “The health care system needs to be restructured to reflect the realities of patient care. From 1975 to 2010, the number of health care administrators increased 3,200 percent. There are now roughly 10 administrators for every doctor. If we converted even half of those salary lines to additional nurses and doctors, we might have enough clinical staff members to handle the work. Health care is about taking care of patients, not paperwork.

Those at the top need to think about the ramifications of their decisions. Counting on nurses and doctors to suck it up because you know they won't walk away from their patients is not just bad strategy. It's bad medicine.”

As a patient, I never understood the heartbreakingly human toll our system takes on clinicians

By Christine Bechtel (Patient Advocate, X4 Health), KevinMD Blog

Excerpt: “3rd Conversation events have taught me some important things that I hope will make you, clinicians, feel heard, and validated:

  • Your patients care about you personally; they have a deep well of empathy for your human condition.
  • You and your patients want the same things from the system: more time together, more human connection, more freedom.
  • There is an opportunity here to reinvent the way we work together, and the clinician-patient relationship itself. Not just during our visits and encounters, but in work to address the root causes of our collective circumstances in service of our common aspirations.

But there's a catch: These feelings of bidirectional empathy, insight, and inspiration only come when you share your authentic self with patients. Whether that happens in the exam room or in an external forum, this is actually the source of your well-being and professional satisfaction.”

Learn more at the 3rd conversation™ space today.

Patients Before Paperwork

ACP submitted a detailed response to CMS's Request for Information on Reducing Administrative Burdens. Our comments focused on the burdens associated with clinical documentation, prior authorization, performance measurement reporting and feedback, among many other challenges.

As a follow up to the meeting with the CMS Administrator earlier in the summer, ACP sent a letter to CMS providing additional recommendations on prior authorization specifically. CMS has mentioned that addressing prior authorization is one of their priorities this year under their own Patients over Paperwork initiative.

Most recently, ACP submitted our comments on CMS's Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program. From a burden reduction perspective, one of the key provisions within the proposed regulation included modifications to documentation requirements to bill evaluation and management (E/M) codes. ACP has long advocated for documentation reform and we believe CMS's proposals to remove the requirements to document history and physical exam elements and providing the option to document based on time or medical decision making is a fundamental step in the right direction. These documentation changes, if finalized, will be effective January 1, 2021. We recommended that CMS finalize these proposals and offered some additional recommendations for how to best implement these changes to truly reduce burden (starting on pg. 12 of our comment letter).

ACP Patients Before Paperwork Initiative

Patients Before Paperwork is an ACP initiative designed to reinvigorate the patient–physician relationship by challenging unnecessary practice burdens.

What You Can Do to Help

To help the Patients Before Paperwork initiative, you can provide your feedback with our new online data collection tool. This tool is a means for physicians to communicate administrative pain points with ACP staff, share best practices and innovative ideas with each other, and help inform the creation of additional tools and services. Entries will be added to the Administrative Tasks and Best Practices Library.

  • Tell us about your ideas to address administrative tasks.
  • Send in specific examples or vignettes explaining how these tasks have had an impact on your ability to care for a patient.
  • Let us know how ACP can best serve you to address these issues.

You may also contact the Patients Before Paperwork team directly at policy-regs@acponline.org or discuss these issues in the Member Forum on Promoting Physician Well-being and Professional Satisfaction


More dates now available!

Opportunities for 1:1 Coaching With Kerri Palamara, MD, FACP

Well-being Champions can now sign up for one-on-one coaching sessions. Schedule an appointment today by adding your name to the online sign-up sheet. A staff member will contact you directly to confirm a time.

You can claim CME/MOC for sessions dedicated to learning about coaching and improving your professional performance under the “Self Study—Consultation With an Expert” category in your Activities Tracker. Personal 1:1 coaching sessions are not CME eligible.

Kerri and all of us at the ACP Well-being Program are very excited to make this available to you! For questions regarding the coaching sessions, please contact us at acpwellbeing@acponline.org


Discuss the news topic above and share advice and ideas with other Well-Being Champions in your private forum.

Join the Discussion


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