On May 2, 2018, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will host a pop-up art exhibition that collects insights from around the country on clinician burnout and well-being. Clinician burnout can have serious, wide-ranging consequences, from reduced job performance and high turnover rates to – in the most extreme cases – medical error and clinician suicide. On the other hand, clinician well-being supports improved patient-clinician relationships, a high-functioning care team, and an engaged and effective workforce. Supporting clinician well-being requires diverse, collective action and the experiences and voices of many – a focus of the NAM’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience (Action Collaborative).

This winter, the NAM put out a nationwide call for artists of all skills and abilities to submit artwork that expresses how clinicians, their loved ones, patients, and organizations experience and are affected by clinician burnout and well-being. Artists were asked to answer the question: What does clinician well-being look, feel, and sound like to you?

A panel of reviewers drawn from the Action Collaborative selected artwork for the pop-up exhibition. Three artists will present their artwork during the Action Collaborative’s May 2 meeting in Washington, DC. These three artists are Anacristina Chapa (University of Texas School of Dentistry, Houston, TX), Cleavon Gilman (New-York Presbyterian, New York, NY), and Cheryl O’Malley (University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ).

The thirty pieces of art selected for the pop-up exhibition were chosen based on the insight each piece brings to the subject of clinician burnout and well-being, as well as artistic impact. Pieces include visual and nonvisual art, such as music, creative writing, paintings, drawings, and spoken word. The following artists are featured in the show:

  • Tania Aziz, Rocky Hill, CT
  • Valerie G., San Francisco, CA
  • Marisa Fernandez, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cleavon Gilman, New York, NY
  • Alys Caviness-Gober, Noblesville, IN
  • Alex Gordon, Miami, FL 
  • Zohal Ghulam-Jelani, Albany, NY
  • Nicole Hawkins, Norfolk, VA
  • Krystal Hudak, Billings, MT
  • Jacqueline Huynh, Tucson, AZ
  • Jay Kaplan, New Orleans, LA
  • Sonia Lai, Fremont, CA
  • Adaira Landry, Jamaica Plain, CT
  • Heather Lewis, Carrboro, NC
  • Edi Matsumoto, Carmel, CA
  • Paul Milligan, St. Louis, MO
  • Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA
  • David Pizzimenti, Olive Branch, MS
  • Michael Ramey, Rapid City, SD 
  • Joe Rotella, Louisville, KY
  • Satyajeet Roy, Princeton, NJ
  • Angela Sanders, Los Altos, CA
  • Michael Sauer, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Cheyanne Silver, Forest Park, IL
  • Shreya Sreekantaswamy, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Songs for the Soul (Carolyn Phillips and Kristin Davidson), Austin, TX
  • Southern California Psychiatric Society (Linda Do, Michelle Furuta, Sarah Harper, Joy Kong-Dyal, Maria Lymberis, Mailan Pham, Mary Ann Schaepper, Heather Silverman, Steve Soldinger, Devin Stromanm Tim Thelen, Mindi Thelen, and Fabian Rodriguez), Los Angeles, CA
  • University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (Cheryl O’Malley and Robert Koch, Phoenix, AZ
  • University of Missouri School of Medicine (Jordan Jensen, Colbey Ricklefs, and Shalvinder Seehra), Columbia, MO
  • University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (Anacristina Chapa, Don Bosco Dan, Tyler Nguyen, Shalizeh Patel, John Valenza), Houston, TX


“These talented artists have added invaluable insights to our work on clinician burnout and well-being,” said Charlee Alexander, Director of the Action Collaborative.  “We hope the stories told through these pieces of art will shed light on the joys and challenges experienced by so many and will illustrate not only the serious impact that burnout has, but also the solutions that allow our clinicians to thrive.”

In addition to the pop-up exhibition, 100 submissions have been selected to appear in a permanent online gallery. The online gallery, launching May 2, will be found at nam.edu/ExpressClinicianWellBeing. This gallery aims to promote greater awareness and understanding of barriers to clinician well-being and to highlight potential solutions to protect and promote the well-being of clinicians of all kinds, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and others. The NAM hopes these pieces of art will offer an entry point for conversations about burnout that can be difficult to have and will help alleviate the stigma that surrounds the mental health of clinicians.

Artwork from Expressions of Clinician Well-Being will begin a traveling show in summer 2018. If you are interested in hosting the exhibit at your organization, please email ClinicianWellBeing@nas.edu.

To learn more, please visit nam.edu/ClinicianWellBeing.

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