How Are You Supporting Your Physicians?   Part 1: Where Is Your Organization on its Well Being Journey?

Posted on February 7, 2022 by Simon Mittal, MD, MMM

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.

insight_wellbeingjourney_p1There’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.

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