Honoring Black History Month

In a time when nurturing the well-being of healthcare professionals has never been more crucial, the Coalition for Physician Well-Being is deeply dedicated to enriching the professional lives of all our clinicians, with a special focus on supporting our Black physicians and advanced practice providers. We hope to support an environment where every clinician can find balance and fulfillment, embracing physical, mental, spiritual, and social health.

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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the Coalition!


 

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A Thanksgiving Message of Gratitude


 

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World Mental Health Day



As the golden hues of October approach, so too does an event of profound significance for healthcare professionals and advocates worldwide: World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2023. This year's theme, “Our minds, our rights,” powerfully underlines the indisputable right each individual possesses to mental well-being.

This theme finds a harmonious echo in the principles of Medicus Integra©. Conceived as a comprehensive framework, Medicus Integra underscores the essence of "wholeness" for clinicians, weaving together the intertwined threads of personal balance, culture, education, and a commitment from the organization to consistently focus efforts to eliminate barriers that will ultimately improve the wholeness of the entire team.





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Celebrating National APP Week!

 

Happy National APP Week!

We wanted to recognize our Advance Practice Providers which includes nurse practitioners (NP), physician assistants (PA), nurse midwives (CNM) and certified nurse anesthetists (CRNA).  We celebrate the hard work and dedication of these professionals who provide high-quality patient care.  

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Overcome with Compassion: National Physician Suicide Awareness Day 2023

Physicians are often seen as the heroes who work tirelessly to save lives and make the world a healthier place. Behind the white coats and stethoscopes, a hidden crisis exists that we cannot ignore - physician suicide. As we approach National Physician Suicide Awareness Day on September 17th, The Coalition for Physician Well-Being wishes to shed light on this issue that impacts so many of our healthcare clinicians.
 
Physicians, like the rest of us, have their vulnerabilities and challenges. They are not invincible, despite the superhuman image that often surrounds them. The demands of medical training and practice take a toll, that can lead to overwhelming stress, burnout, and, tragically, suicide. We must address this vital issue with pragmatic warmth and empathy.
 
In Medscape's Physician Suicide Report of 2023, a comprehensive survey involving over 9,100 physicians revealed alarming findings. Approximately a quarter of the respondents, nearly 25%, admitted to experiencing feelings of depression, while 9% disclosed that they've grappled with thoughts of suicide. Most alarmingly, 1% of the physicians disclosed that they had attempted suicide at some point.
 
The survey also shed light on the coping mechanisms physicians employ. A significant portion, 38%, indicated that they had sought help by speaking with a therapist about their suicidal thoughts, while 36% confided in a family member. However, it's disheartening to note that 40% of the physicians chose to keep their suicidal thoughts a secret from anyone.
 
When asked about their reasons for not seeking professional help, some common responses emerged. Some physicians felt that they could manage their struggles independently, while others cited concerns about divulging this information to a medical board. Worries about the potential impact on their insurance records and the fear of colleagues discovering their struggles were also cited as deterrents to seeking help.
 
National Physician Suicide Awareness Day encourages us to acknowledge the struggles of our physicians. It's a day to remind ourselves that physicians, just like all of us, need our support and understanding. It calls upon the medical community, healthcare institutions, and society to unite in addressing this crisis. This is only one day though, and we all must approach Physician and APP Well-Being as a 365-day yearlong effort.
 
Offering mental health resources that are readily available is just one part of a complex solution to reduce the suicide rate. Systems and practices should offer comprehensive tools and resources that provide robust mental health support for their staff, including counseling services, stress management programs, and confidential avenues for seeking help. The Coalition for Physician Well-Being increases knowledge sharing and collaboration among practices and institutions, working to erase the stigma surrounding mental health within the medical community. We encourage open conversations, normalizing seeking help, and fostering a culture of support. Sharing best practices in well-being coming together for this common cause.
 
Finding JOY in the practice of medicine cannot be accomplished by resilience alone – systemically implemented policies that promote work-life balance, reasonable working hours, time off, and support for family responsibilities are of vital importance. The Coalition’s free webinars, podcasts, and the annual national conference (Joy & Wholeness Summit) are designed specifically to educate, offer peer support networking, and increase education and training to ultimately increase provider WHOLENESS. All these initiatives will help curb the alarming percentage of suicidal ideation among our healthcare clinicians.
 
As National Physician Suicide Awareness Day approaches, all of us at The Coalition sincerely encourage you to embrace warmth, compassion, and understanding. We address the factors contributing to physician suicide, and encourage all of our members and partners to take action. Together, we can create a healthcare system that cares not only for patients, but also for those who care for them. And together, we can shine a light on the solutions that will and encourage a whole, joyful future for physicians everywhere.
 
Be the Joy!
The Staff and Board of Directors at The Coalition for Physician Well-Being

Just Another Conference?

Well, maybe.

If you're not a fan of:
  • Location in the scenic Wasatch Mountains of Utah
  • Outdoor activities—hiking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting
  • Nice accommodations, good food, ample breaks

But those who frequent professional conferences have come to expect comparable experiences and amenities in many different places, both around the country and abroad. Or maybe not. So, what made the 13th annual Joy & Wholeness Summit standout? What made it unique, special, above, and beyond (besides the 7000-foot mountain altitude)?

Starting with the pre-conference sessions – designed specifically to address the interests, concerns, and preferences of three select constituencies: graduate medical education, women physicians, and advanced practice providers – the presentations and dialogue were stimulating, provocative, and practical. The presenters spoke from both expertise and experience, addressing the prevalent professional challenges and potential remedies particular to each discipline.

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Anticipation: The Joy & Wholeness Summit

When I was a ten-year-old boy, summer was an opportunity to anticipate good times. Sometimes it was a family trip to the gulf beach---sun, sand, and surf. Sometimes it was the mountains---breakfast over an open fire in the early morning, hiking at midday, swimming in a cold stream on a hot afternoon, dozing off in a sleeping bag. The experience rarely failed to meet and surpass expectations.

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It’s Time to Talk About Trauma in Healthcare

 

I hope this well-being message finds you doing and feeling well. June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. PTSD likely has existed since the dawn of time, but it was only officially recognized as a diagnosable condition in 1980 when published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). PTSD is a condition in which someone has experienced or witnessed a situation that was deemed frightening, dangerous, life threatening to self or others, and/or even the potential/perception of all of the above. Another newer added symptom to the DSM-5 diagnosis criteria is “experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of a traumatic event.“ The primary symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, nightmares, episodes of severe anxiety, psychophysiological and somatic symptoms (i.e., shortness of breath, muscle tension, sweats), panic attacks, uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event, and overwhelming fear of reoccurrence. Symptoms may start within a month of a traumatic event or sometimes years after the event and are generally grouped into four primary categories: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.

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On Mental Health Awareness

I never met my grandfather. My dad told me the little I know about him. He was a hard worker who owned and operated a successful lumber business. Dad recalled that they were the first family in their small rural town to own an automobile. Although my dad was only five or six years of age, he has vivid recollection of the day his dad fell from a lumber wagon, sustaining a severe head injury. His dad was ultimately admitted to a state mental hospital and died a short time later. His cause of death was recorded as “an insane man”.

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YOU are the best.

The Coalition for Physician Well-Being’s origins date back to 2010, when four people sat around a small table to consider the emerging evidence for physician burnout and the opportunity to contribute substantive remedies focusing on resilience, meaning, and purpose. Malcolm Herring, Dianne McCallister, Doug Wysockey-Johnson, and I met with a volunteer facilitator to guide our discussion and prod us to think creatively.

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75 Years of Global Health

Today on this 75th Anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, it is World Health Day. The focus on Health for All resonates in our exam rooms, communities, nation, and world more than ever. As we strive to improve the health of each individual by addressing barriers to care, remember the all needs to include healthcare professionals.

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Why Do We Recognize Doctors' Day?

There’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. There’s Independence Day, Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, President’s Day and many more named special days – perhaps not so well known, but nevertheless important to those who are honored and remembered on their special day.

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Living Out Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

It’s DEI for brevity, comprehension, convenience—Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. DEI has become a shorthand vehicle to communicate the universal values of relational integrity, intentional community, and investment in the well-being of all.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Resolutions!

Among the most common, perennial New Year’s Resolutions are:

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Coalition for Physician Well-Being!


As we enter the holiday season, I am reminded of how important relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues has meant to me. Family gatherings are always a special time for us. Our home is always filled with aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, children, grandparents and great-grandparents all enjoying Sabbath lunch and fellowship. The holidays are another blessing of more time together and more food to eat.     

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Year-End Giving – Consider a Donation to the Coalition for Physician Well-Being


We are immensely grateful for the successful year that the Coalition for Physician Well-Being has experienced in 2022. Following two years of virtual conferences, the in-person attendance at our annual Joy & Wholeness Summit brought over 180 participants. Our membership now exceeds the 300 mark. Our podcast and monthly webinar continue to attract new followers, and our committees are actively pursuing new activities and developing innovative resources to address burnout and promote resiliency.
 
At a time when the incidence of physician burnout is at an all-time high, the work of the Coalition has never been more important. This past year, in collaboration with the Ardmore Institute of Health, we were able to provide paid scholarships for ten (10) residents to attend the Joy & Wholeness Summit in Denver, Colorado. Their engagement with the conference and their unanimous response to the conference theme and compelling presentations was overwhelming.
 
Your tax-deductible donation to the Coalition will help us reach our goal to provide twenty (20) resident scholarships for the 2023 conference which will be held in Park City, Utah, July 10-12. Thank you for joining us in investing in the training and development of young doctors for their personal wholeness and that of our entire profession.



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Giving Tuesday – Help Support the Growth and Well-Being of Medical Residents

Today’s medical residents are tomorrow’s health care heroes. That’s why fostering well-being, balance and fulfillment at this early stage in their careers is so critical. This #GivingTuesday, help give a medical resident an experience like no other by sponsoring their attendance at the 2023 Joy & Wholeness Summit. Contributions are tax deductible and most importantly, enable our future health care leaders to ensure that personal and professional well-being are foundational as they set on a journey to provide healing and hope to patients for years to come. 

Turning our Focus from Burnout to Well-Being

 

In 2004, a small group of individuals interested in the well-being of physicians met to discuss their observations and concerns about the fact that their colleagues were becoming disillusioned in ways previously unrecognized. They also hoped to uncover possible interventions to help allay this growing trend characterized by a sense of futility, decreased collegiality, and the erosion of traditional support systems in hospitals and physician communities. 

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Statement on National Physician Suicide Awareness Day

Serving as a physician and being entrusted to help bring healing and hope to patients, and in some cases entire communities, is an unbelievable privilege and calling. Unfortunately, many of our medical professionals suffer in a place of deep despair that ultimately jeopardizes their life and personal well-being. 
 
Today, on National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, and every day, the Coalition for Physician Well-Being stands in support of physicians and health care professionals who may be in their darkest times. We urge anyone struggling with mental health emergencies to please seek help immediately. We call upon our professional colleagues to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of depression and suicide risk within our ranks and come alongside those in danger to provide support and encourage necessary interventions.
 
We all play a part in building and sustaining a culture of well-being for physicians. We as the medical community, and society as a whole, must continue to raise awareness of issues that negatively impact the health and wellness of practitioners, while also investing in resources that foster purpose and fulfillment. In doing so, we believe not only that lives will be saved, but more physicians will live in the wholeness and abundance they strive to cultivate for their patients.