The Well Being Advocate Program: Praise from Physicians

Posted on November 19, 2019 by Sarah Prom, MA, LPC, ODCP

“Being an Advocate is helping me personally. My own well being has gotten better and I realize I can’t do everything perfectly every time. I’ve made a priorities shift. I’ve adjusted where I put my energy. This has been a huge part for me in this work.”

VWL-19-001_WellBeingAdvocates_BlogGraphic3This comment from a physician was made in connection with the Well Being Advocate Program, where selected physicians are trained to play a crucial role in their organizations: fostering well being among physicians.

This includes watching for signs of incipient burnout and other possible crises among colleagues; connecting physicians with VITAL WorkLife resources to help them and more. In addition, the Advocate is given the opportunity to look inward and assess their own well being, an often-unintended benefit echoed in the opening quote.

In a nutshell, the Advocate is an inspirational voice for well being throughout the organization.

The physician we’ve quoted, a new Advocate, adds: “The more I dig into the [Well Being Advocate] Program, the more I am convinced it was meant to be.”

Another Advocate’s voice:

I talk about Peer Coaching and the resources available during my rounds, as an educational ‘heads up’ for my colleagues.”

Another Advocate appreciates the ability “to share information about VITAL WorkLife with a colleague—someone who said they didn’t know anything about it.”

Finally, a physician for whom the Advocate Program helped restore joy in medicine says:

“I am now much better able to deal with the aspects of my practice frustrating me, but that I have limited control over. I actually find as I focus more on the things within my power and that are meaningful to me, I am enjoying practice again.”

Read more about the Program and the Advocate’s role—and how an organization can make use of this simple, straightforward way to promote a culture of physician well being in our article “How to Improve Culture with a Well Being Advocate Program,” and our posts “The Well Being Advocate: A Special Kind of Colleague—Part 1,” and “The Well Being Advocate: A Special Kind of Colleague—Part 2.


Read more about the Well Being Advocate program, the Advocate’s responsibilities and why the program was developed in our article “How to Improve Culture with a Well Being Advocate Program.”

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* Tait Shanafelt, MD et al., “The Business Case for Investing in Physician Well-Being,” JAMA Internal Medicine, September 25, 2017.

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