You have just signed out from one of the best shifts in your career. You feel like you were born to do this! You’re a great EM doctor! Then, you spot him, a man in a dark suit making eye contact as you walk through the lobby towards the exit. He stops and asks, “Are you Dr. About-to-get Sued?” Being named in a malpractice lawsuit is a potentially devastating, frequently unmentioned, and yet rather common event in EM. Providers may find themselves feeling isolated and ashamed, questioning their career choice regardless of the trial outcome. Members of the ALiEM Wellness Think Tank recently spoke with Dr. Gita Pensa about how to find resilience in EM despite involvement in a lawsuit. We provide the full podcast and a summary below.
In 2016, Emergency Medicine led the national charge to promote physical, mental, and emotional health of physicians. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) promoted the first EM Wellness Week, with the goal of reminding EPs and colleagues to take time to care for themselves. This initiative continues to expand and impact EPs across the country. Last year, The ALiEM Wellness Think Tank joined forces with CanadiEM, ACEP, and Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). This year, we hope to raise the bar. The ALiEM Wellness Think Tank is inviting residents from ALL programs to participate in daily challenges related to wellness, and discuss it with colleagues in and outside EM.
This is a call to action for residents who have the creativity and passion to make life better for all trainees. The 2017 Wellness Think Tank survey of more than 1,500 EM residents found that, on average, 15 out of every 16 residents are struggling with burnout. It’s time to change that! We are looking for motivated residents to be a part of a one-of-a-kind grassroots movement to create a better and more sustainable culture within Emergency Medicine. Apply to join the 2018 Wellness Think Tank today!
If you have spent any time working in an emergency department in the last 10 years, you have undoubtedly come across a conversation about wellness and burnout in medicine. Despite increasing awareness, the data is bleak: Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians experience burnout more than any other specialty.1 As we consider that EM was the second most popular Match in 2017, it’s important to focus on collaborative efforts and ensure that the increasing number of EM trainees does not lead to a generation of burned out EM providers.2
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” – Plato
The rigors of post-graduate training can strain even the most stoic of residents – the next task, the next project, the next shift. These reduce our resiliency to stressful situations. The likelihood is that your program has worked very hard to develop new and innovative initiatives to improve resident wellness and resiliency. And chances are, they have done this in-house. It takes tremendous efforts, however, to create and revise the efforts. In this digital age of social media, this siloed approach no longer is necessary because programs can easily get feedback and share their experiences with others.(more…)
The first ever Resident Wellness Consensus Summit (RWCS) was held this year as a pre-day to Essentials of EM on May 15, 2017 in Las Vegas. This was an amazing opportunity for residents across North America to come together and discuss the important topic of resident wellness. We even had some participants from Fiji! Many of the attendees participated in pre-work for the RWCS through their involvement in the Wellness Think Tank, which is our virtual community of practice that involves residents from across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to pre-work for the RWCS, the members participated in online discussions on wellness and worked closely with our Wellness Strategists.
Promoting wellness is a team sport. It takes more than one individual to champion it at any institution. In medicine, when a team is formed to effect change, it is called a committee. Dr. Dan Lakoff was one of the founding leaders of the council of residency wellness committee, and has also helped lead wellness efforts at his own institution. Here he shares his thoughts, his inspiration, and practical ideas that helped improve wellness at his program.