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Physician Burnout Charter Sets Framework for Change

By Christopher Cheney  
   April 05, 2018

The charter was published March 29, in an article titled "Charter on Physician Well-being." The document has the support of several national associations, including the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The charter's best practices and recommendations are organized in three sections: societal commitments, organizational commitments, and interpersonal and individual commitments. Some examples of the recommendations are as follows:

  • Healthcare organizations need to make a societal commitment to advocate for policies and rules that foster well-being. Influencing national policies can improve the well-being of physicians such as easing administrative burdens and improving mental health care for clinicians.
  • Organizational commitment includes an engaged leadership team. Methods that leaders can try to boost physician well-being include having well-being initiatives in strategic planning, using organizational awareness efforts to identify well-being challenges, and adopting well-being metrics into assessments of organizational performance.
  • Part of interpersonal and individual commitment is rooted in the emotionally demanding role of physicians such as enduring adverse events and patient deaths. Actions organizations can take to ease emotional pressure include adding coping skills to training and continuing education, as well as offering confidential debriefings during the workday.

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

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