New AMA initiatives target physician health

No matter their specialty, physicians see one extremely important patient every day: the one they greet in the mirror. This was the takeaway message from this year's International Conference on Physician Health, according to Robert M. Wah, M.D., president of the American Medical Association (AMA).

"We have to take care of this patient so that we can be at our best to take care of all our other patients," he wrote for AMA Viewpoints.

And to help support tangible improvements to physician wellness across the United States, the AMA has announced three new initiatives:

  • Accelerating Change in Medical Education. The AMA is working with 11 medical schools to evolve curriculum that will better prepare physicians for the dynamics of post-ACA medicine, such as delivering patient-centered, team-based care, and equip them with stronger coping and business management skills.
  • Improving Health Outcomes. In order to help physicians become healthier, better role models for patients, the AMA wants to reduce high blood pressure and prediabetes within the physician workforce. Therefore, the association wants to develop strategies to embed screening and prevention into daily processes.
  • Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability. There is no question that the mounting demands on physicians to keep up--and even keep their practices open--take their toll on physician health. These tools, which include help in electronic health record usability, are intended to help put the job back into medicine for physicians.

These initiatives are intended to address the multiple facets to physician health, according to Wah, including managing patients, practice, family and friends; keeping up with medical news; and maintaining personal interests.

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