The pressures of practicing medicine have never been greater which means promoting the well being of the physicians in your organization has never been more important. My article “Ensure a Culture of Well Being with a Physician Well Being Audit” offers some criteria for assessing how well you’re doing at developing and demonstrating a culture of care.
There’s another way to look at your progress too. At VITAL WorkLife, we believe every organization should be on a journey to a robust commitment to physician well being, and here is that journey conceptualized in five stages:
Novice: You’re somewhat aware of the well being issue and you offer your physicians general resources focused on well being, such as mindfulness training or support for exercise and good nutrition.
Beginner: You’re aware of factors that promote stress and have established a peer support program; you’ve surveyed your people to assess their well being and identify units that are struggling; and you take well being into consideration when making major decisions and implementing changes.
Competent: You understand the business case for investing in well being, have made organizational changes like establishing a coaching program that addresses the whole life of physicians, are regularly assessing burnout and have begun designing interventions for struggling units. You’ve also empowered your people by giving them a greater voice in decisions and offering them opportunities for building community among themselves.
Proficient: You consider the impact of physician well being on all your organization’s objectives and decisions. You’ve reduced the clerical burden on physicians, increased work-flow efficiency and trained leaders in participatory management. You’ve funded a robust well being program and your interventions into problem areas are accompanied by solid evaluations of their effectiveness.
Expert: Your strategic investment in well being and the supporting measures you’ve taken have firmly established a “culture of well being” for physicians in the organization. You’ve appointed a Chief Well Being Officer and all your leaders share accountability for well being. Your well being program is strongly-supported and is producing new knowledge that you share with other organizations.
Are you there yet? Access our Well Being Journey tool here.