Resources for Physician Well-Being and Preventing Burnout

Read the open letter to EAPs/PAPs

Physician burnout is a syndrome that has to potential to impact doctors in any specialty, in any treatment setting. Burnout can originate from work-related stress, and remains a significant topic today particularly during the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Left uncontrolled, occupational stress has the potential for negative consequences in an individual’s life, outside of work, beyond their chosen occupation even outside of work. There are a few resources one can take to mitigate the risk and symptoms of occupational stress and burnout. By actively taking well-being into consideration, individuals can improve their quality of life, find work-life balance, and reduce the negative impact of occupational stress.

The American Medical Association (AMA) suggests that “self-care is an important behavior that physicians in your practice can use to reduce their individual stress levels and prevent burnout. Some self-care interventions include meditation, actively managing health sleeping and eating habits, participating in a regular exercise routine, engaging in hobbies, or taking mini-breaks throughout the day in a quiet space to decompress.” With the resources below, one can learn ways to cope with stress and build efficacious defenses against burnout. 

The following resources can be particularly helpful during the COVID19 pandemic:

If you or someone you know is in crisis,
please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The Physicians’ Health Program has specific providers who can assist you with services during this stressful time. For more information, call (866) 747-2255 or (717) 558-7819.
"A Physical and Psychosocial Response for a Post-COVID-19 Workplace"
Presented by PHP Medical Director Edwin Kim, MD, MRO
Download the PDF version

Well-being in Academic Medicine, a repository from the AAMC, lists dozens of articles, books, videos, and other resources, including many related to COVID-19.

The National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience provides pandemic-related resources.

A learning module from the American Medical Association describes how to identify at-risk physicians and facilitate access to treatment.

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress of the Uniformed Services University provides COVID-19 fact sheets and webinars for health care providers and leaders.

The Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) updates resources for physicians during COVID-19:

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) suggests their Aware app based on cognitive behavioral therapy for medical trainees: 

AMA tips for preventing burnout: 

AMA suggestions on increasing wellness efforts at your institution (be a champion locally): 

Psych Hub:
Free resource hub to help people address their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsteps for Self-Care from Harvard:

FREE online Mindfulness-based support group for healthcare professionals treating COVID-19 patients by Caron and Providence Treatment:

    1. Tuesdays 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
    2. Starts Tuesday April 14th and ends June 2, 2020

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Disaster Distress Helpline: 

UCLA has a Mindful App based on work from the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC): 

The University of Pennsylvania Program for Mindfulness offers courses on a rolling schedule: 

The University of Pennsylvania offers a Positive Psychology through Coursera for building resiliency: 

The Nursing License Map has compiled a list of mental health resources.

Additionally, research your institution’s Employee Assistance Program or inquire with human resources. Reach out to a member of the wellness committee. Contact your local medical or professional society for additional specialty-specific resources.