Clinician well-being is essential for safe, high-quality patient care.
However, clinicians of all kinds, across all specialties and care settings, are experiencing alarming rates of burnout. Among the most telling of statistics, 35-54% of nurses and physicians as well as 45-60% of medical students and residents (“learners”) experience substantial symptoms of burnout. Burnout is a syndrome characterized by a high degree of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (i.e., cynicism), and a low sense of personal accomplishment at work.
Clinician burnout can have serious, wide-ranging consequences on individual clinicians and learners, health care organizations, and patient care. On the other hand, clinician well-being supports improved patient-clinician relationships, a high-functioning care team, and an engaged and effective workforce. In other words, when we invest in clinician well-being, everyone wins.
Supporting clinician well-being requires sustained attention and action at organizational, state, and national levels, as well as investment in research and information-sharing to advance evidence-based solutions.
In the face of the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation must acknowledge the toll that the crisis is taking on the well-being of clinicians. Health care workers need support as they navigate the difficult challenges of the current moment and throughout the long-term effects of COVID-19 on clinicians.
About the Clinician Well-Being Collaborative
In 2017, the National Academy of Medicine launched the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, a network of more than 200 organizations committed to reversing trends in clinician burnout.
The Clinician Well-Being Collaborative has three goals:
- Raise the visibility of clinician anxiety, burnout, depression, stress, and suicide
- Improve baseline understanding of challenges to clinician well-being
- Advance evidence-based, multidisciplinary solutions to improve patient care by caring for the caregiver
The Clinician Well-Being Collaborative is proud to have contributed to the movement to address burnout by convening, publishing, and shaping the national conversation along the priority areas of leadership engagement, breaking the culture of silence, organizational promising practices and metrics, workload and workflow, action on consensus report recommendations, and sustainability. The Clinician Well-Being Collaborative will continue to meet through 2022 to identify evidence-based strategies to improve clinician well-being at both the individual and systems levels. Products and activities of the Collaborative include an online knowledge hub, a series of NAM Perspectives papers, an art exhibit, and an all-encompassing conceptual model that reflects the domains affecting clinician well-being.
Questions? Contact us at ClinicianWellBeing@nas.edu.
Victor Dzau, Co-Chair
Darrell Kirch, Co-Chair
Vivek Murthy, Co-Chair
Thomas Nasca, Co-Chair
Anh Tran, Associate Program Officer
Catherine Colgan, Research Assistant
Kimber Bogard, Deputy Executive Officer, Programs
Samantha Phillips, Communications Officer
Resources from the Clinician Well-Being Collaborative
Recent Publication from the Clinician Well-Being Collaborative
Organizational Evidence-Based and Promising Practices for Improving Clinician Well-Being
Now more than ever, health care organizations should advance their resiliency by 1) committing to workforce well-being as an organizational priority, 2) regularly assessing and reporting burnout, 3) sharing accountability across leadership roles, 4) periodically evaluating policies, 5) measuring and improving the efficiency of the work environment, and 6) creating a culture of connection and support for clinicians.
If you are suicidal and need emergency help, call 911 immediately or 1-800-273-8255 if in the United States. If you are in another country, find a 24/7 hotline at www.iasp.info/resources/Crises_Centres.