While the pandemic has been a tsunami hitting the already vulnerable healthcare ecosystem, there may be a few silver linings. I’ve previously mentioned the progress that’s been made in increasing public awareness of mental health in general, their own personal mental health, and the power of community. Our fellow physicians, as we might expect from compassionate, problem-solving, bright people, are developing their own physician resilience programs to help their fellow doctors.
There are also programs developed by hospital and healthcare organization leadership based on the latest evidence base for tackling burnout and enhancing physician wellbeing.
Some of us have an instinctive (or learned) mistrust of brilliant ideas coming from management. We may prefer to learn from colleagues who are a little more down-to-Earth.
Resultantly, I have pulled together a number of physician resilience program resources developed by individual MDs for the interested physician reader and physician leader, below. I sincerely hope that one or more of these will help you.
Dr. Sood is the creator of the Resilient Option program, a well-known physician resilience program. He is one of the world’s leading experts on resilience and wellbeing, and executive director of the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing. He was also professor of medicine, and Chair for student life and wellness at Mayo Clinic.
Validated in several research studies and served over a million people, his live and on-demand solutions help decrease stress and build resilience through four simple modules:
The program can be accessed here: https://www.csh.umn.edu/community/wellbeing-resilience-physicians-online-program
Martin A. Samuels MD has developed The Antidote to Physician Burnout: A Nine Step Physcian Resilience Program.
The Nine Steps are:
1. Work and learn in a truly resource limited environment but don’t be condescending
2. Empathize with your patients but don’t expect empathy for you in return
3. Spend less energy on “mindfulness” and more time on developing a theory of the mind; work is life and life is work
4. Appreciate irony and cultivate a sense of humor; don’t take yourself too seriously
5. Collect one’s own mistakes and share them but don’t expect them to stop happening
6. Study history; you aren’t that special
7. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Realize how lucky you are to be a doctor. Others wanted to be there.
8. Find a mentor and be a mentor; you are bridge from the past to the future
9. Be realistic; no one can do everything well and stuff (sh__) will happen
(If it was a 10-step Program [and I had been asked], I would have added:
10: Read the House of God by Samuel Shem. Keep it by your bedside. Learn it inside out. It is your Holy Book and shall be your source of all wisdom.)
So, a number of wise colleagues have developed some outstanding physician resilience programs to help us cope better. We hope that many of these will be very helpful.
By all means, please feel free check these out. As the Brits say, “Every little helps”. Learn new ways of coping. Be able to bend with the hurricane rather than break. Become stronger, wiser, faster, more resilient. Don’t let the system grind you down.
Please don’t burn out, or worse.
If you need more support, though, please check out our Forums and Support Groups – all completely confidential, anonymous, and secure.
If you know of resources that we have left out, please get in contact!