American College of Physicians program will focus on doctors' well-being, job satisfaction

Female nurse looking stressed
The ACP well-being program will help address the causes of burnout, including practice inefficiency and administrative burdens. (Getty/gpointstudio)

The American College of Physicians has launched a new initiative that will focus on promoting doctor well-being and job satisfaction.

A key component of that initiative is to establish and train a team of what the ACP is calling “well-being champions” to support their chapter members, practices and organizations in combatting physician burnout.

The largest medical specialty organization in the U.S. said in an announcement that it began the initiative with four goals in mind: to create a culture of wellness, improve practice efficiencies, enhance individual physician well-being and reduce administrative burdens.

“It is critical to address the many factors that can lead to professional dissatisfaction, burnout, depression and suicide among physicians,” said Susan Thompson Hingle, M.D., chair of the group’s board of regents. The group wants to help internists experience greater fulfillment by identifying, promoting and disseminating approaches to improve the practice environment so they can better serve patients, she said.

Research shows that doctor burnout has led 1 in 5 physicians to plan to reduce their clinical hours and has roughly 1 in 50 planning to leave medicine altogether in the next two years.

Given that nearly 80% of the causes of physician dissatisfaction are systems issues, the initiative will focus on ways to reduce excessive administrative burdens on physicians and help them address complexities that cannot be eliminated.

The organization will offer online resources and education courses at its national and regional meetings. One course, for example, will focus on wellness techniques that include breathing, meditation and laughter.

For busy healthcare workers, the ability to pause and reset one’s focus is essential, according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Studies associate mindfulness or the act of paying deliberate attention to the present moment as one way to improve well-being, the Institute said.