One of the most commonly cited reasons why physicians decide to enter the health care field is a passion for improving patient care. Unfortunately, growing demands in health care have led to high rates of physician stress and burnout, which affect a clinician’s quality of life negatively and possibly have an impact on the quality of care provided to patients, according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Greater awareness around the issue of clinician burnout has led to a broad consensus that this problem has reached a severe level. Currently, some hospitals, professional societies, individual organizations, and training programs offer professional services to help combat burnout. Despite these efforts, there are often many individual factors at play in burnout that a program or service has yet to address fully.
Investigators believe the National Academy of Medicine represents one of the best organizations to take on the role of coordinating and synthesizing ongoing efforts and to facilitate collective action for greater progress in fighting burnout. In January 2017, the National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education launched the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience program, designed to improve knowledge sharing and facilitate collective action against burnout.
The collaborative relies on 4 goals: 1) increase awareness of clinician stress and burnout, 2) improve the organization’s understanding of well-being challenges among clinicians, 3) identify evidence-based solutions, and 4) determine whether these solutions are effective when implemented. Organizations that are interested in the program are urged to participate. There is hope that this collaborative program will make “clear that clinician well-being is a growing priority for health care leaders, policymakers, payers, and other decision makers capable of bringing about system-level change.”
Dzau VJ, Kirch DG, Nasca TJ. To care is human — collectively confronting the clinician-burnout crisis. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(4):312-314.