Susan Thompson Hingle
NEW ORLEANS — ACP provided an update of their physician well-being, professional satisfaction and “Patients before Paperwork” initiatives during a press briefing at ACP’s Internal Medicine Meeting.
Improving the well-being and professional satisfaction of physicians is of “great importance” to ACP, Jack Ende, MD, president of ACP, said during the briefing.
“ACP appreciates the complexity of the problem and for that reason we are way beyond looking for a single solution,” Ende said. “We believe this is a problem that will require a multimodal path.”
ACP’s initiative has four components, including promoting individual well-being, improving the practice and organizational environment, fostering local communities of well-being and advocating for systems changes, according to Ende.
“ACP believes it is critical to address the many factors that lead to professional dissatisfaction, burnout and even suicide of physicians,” he said.
, MD, chair of ACP’s board of regents, said that physician well-being and professional satisfaction cannot be ignored anymore, rather it needs to be faced head on.
“Dissatisfaction and burnout is by no means a new problem, but it is something that comes now with a new sense of urgency,” she said.
She noted that patients are getting older and sicker and that there are fewer residents and medical students are choosing to go into internal medicine which worsens the physician shortage issue.
The ACP launched its physician well-being and professional satisfaction task force in January 2017, Hingle said.
“This was designed to help focus efforts to address this complicated and complex problem,” she said. “Our vision is to be a safe and nurturing community where ACP members are going to feel valued, connected and supported.”
“One of the unique things about our task force is it includes a patient representative and that hopefully is going to help us identify novel ways that patients and physicians can partner together to address these complex issues,” she added.
Hingle noted that the ACP is developing resources that focus on efficiency of practice, personal resilience and establishing a culture of wellness.
“By creating a safe and nurturing community we are going to be able to impact meaningful change in this area,” she said.
Cynthia Smith, MD, VP for clinical programs at ACP, noted that a critical component of the initiative is a team of “well-being champions” who support their colleagues, practices and organizations in reducing burnout.
Almost 80% of lack of well-being and professional dissatisfaction stem from system issues, according to ACP.
ACP’s Patients before Paperwork initiative is an evolving action plan striving to eliminate administrative burdens and unnecessary tasks that hinder patient care and contribute to burnout, Shari Erickson, MPH, VP for governmental affairs and medical practice at ACP, said. – by Alaina Tedesco
Physician well-being and professional satisfaction. Presented at: ACP Internal Medicine Annual Meeting; April 19-21, 2018; New Orleans.
Ende, Thompson Hingle, Smith and Erickson are officers within the American College of Physicians.