Physician Health–Hugs, Bonding and Learning at ACPH 2023

Posted on October 19, 2023 by Leonard Pesheck, MBA

Updated October 20, 2023

How often do you see people at a conference greeting each other with hugs—like a lot?  

LP ACPH_reducedThe American Conference on Physician Health (ACPH) was held October 11-13 with the focus on restoring what many feel has been lost: meaning and purpose for healthcare providers. As a sponsor of this bi-annual event, I was impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of attendees, all 660 of them. Many of the attendees had not seen each other since pre-COVID and have been supporting well-being in their organization by themselves–like on an island in isolation. 

I learned what’s new, what’s changed, met new people and immersed myself in the subject matter. What I found–our tribe. Everyone there had the same goals, wanted to reconnect with one another and share what their learnings were to create and sustain a positive work environment. 

Five thoughts from ACPH

  1. The administrative burden of working on EHR’s persists as (maybe more so than in past years) a huge burden. In fact, an entire track of the conference was focused on EHR sessions. 
  2. Physicians are tired of being told to be resilient. The momentum now points toward the organization as a whole for change. 
  3. Self-care is okay. Everyone needs to work it into their schedule. If you don’t, the repercussions affect everyone in your network, the organization and your family. 
  4. Connections, community and isolation. Those in isolation who don’t actively engage with their connections, community or family have by far the highest probability of burning out. 
  5. Psychological safety. Everyone needs it. Where they can talk, be heard and express themselves. The pressure of not having psychological safety. or a safe space where you can express yourself without fear, can be detrimental. 

One of the sessions I most enjoyed included a panel of Katie Godfrey of ChristinaCare, Colin West of Mayo Clinic and Mickey Trockel of Stanford Medicine. The panelists really honed in on the topics of Connections, Community and Isolation with compelling supporting research and data. 

Amy and Katie Godfrey ACPH_reduced

We connected with many of our clients, often with hugs and selfies. We also met many new connections, our extended tribe, who were glad to hear of the work we do to support the health of over 45,000 physicians.

As the conference came to a close, we reluctantly parted ways, but the incredible energy and enthusiasm that we had built up by supporting and inspiring one another remained with us. We carried this newfound determination to continue advocating for physicians, ensuring that their well-being remains a top priority.

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