Wellness New

Physician Wellness Series Part 2: In-house Wellness Programs

Cortney Ikpe

In part 2 of our physician wellness series, we will discuss in-house physician wellness programs as a method of reducing physician burnout. Across the nation, hospitals have begun or have already established wellness programs for their staff members. These programs encourage physicians and other health professionals to seek relief from work-related stress and receive personal wellness education through a variety of seminars, classes, and group activities. 

Stanford Hospital has a renowned in-house wellness center dedicated to empowering physicians in their practice. Their wellness center’s mission statement reads, "to improve the health and professional fulfillment of physicians and the associated health of their patients, their students, and other members of the medical teams they lead." Their program is founded on three main principles: to provide a culture of wellness, to improve efficiency of practice, and to build personal resilience.

  • A wellness culture encompasses how well a physician is treated by bosses and colleagues, as well as if their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated.
  • Efficiency of practice has to do with how much access the physician has to resources in order to do their job well and on time -- including time spent with the EHR versus patients.
  • Personal resilience is the ability to imagine the possibility of improvement.

The Stanford Hospital wellness center provides surveys for physicians to fill out in order to measure their levels of wellness. A majority of these surveys found that the strongest predictor of physician burnout was low self-compassion -- which can be learned, according to Stanford pediatric cardiologist Daniel Murphy. Their wellness center culture emphasizes the importance of physicians gaining professional fulfillment rather than just avoiding burnout. They state that doctors who are burned out are not ‘lost causes’; they can come back and regain their confidence and job satisfaction.

Stanford’s Hospital’s wellness program is an excellent example of a successful in-house wellness center. If more hospitals implemented similar programs, it could significantly influence the rate of physician burnout across the nation. Henry Ford Hospital has joined Stanford in recognizing the importance of physician wellness with their own wellness program. Their practice establishes a ‘culture of caring’ by pinpointing physicians’ feelings through focus groups. Additionally, they create meaning in their work by leading wellness courses and lectures on a variety of subjects, including a peer-mentor support program to provide support for new physicians. They also hold monthly ‘wellness rounds’ with free lunch and discussions on different burnout topics.

As you can see, wellness programs are more than just yoga classes. It is important that health institutions cultivate an atmosphere of openness and acceptance where physicians are empowered to express how they feel and address problems in their work environment. Physicians should be able to lean on one another for support, as well as have access to the resources they need to feel and perform their best.

At Resolve, we work to empower physicians. This means that our services extend beyond just finding a job our clients. We make sure physicians find employment at the best location, in the best position, with the best work culture. Our team of attorneys provides contract reviews and negotiations to ensure there are no hidden implications or deceiving promises in employment agreements. With Resolve, you don’t have to settle for a mediocre work environment. Make sure you are getting the treatment and care you deserve, so that you can give the best treatment and care to your future patients. Contact one of our specialists today.