CHARMed - Signing On to Improve Physician Well-Being

Whatever term we want to use - burnout, passion killer, sick-and-tired-of-this - we’re feeling it in the medical community. Some studies are even finding a majority of US physicians report symptoms of burnout at any given time. We at SurgeonMasters talk a lot about physician wellness and burnout prevention from the perspective of the individual in the system, don’t be fooled! 

We fully recognize the larger role the system plays in creating burnout and the conflict with our personal values. However, SurgeonMasters are not waiting for the system to change. We are creating the change.

Other physician advocates are not waiting around either. In April 2018, the American Medical Association and members in the Collaborative for Healing and Renewal in Medicine (CHARM) put together a “Charter on Physician Well-Being.” This charter was intended for organizations to use as a model to reduce burnout and promote well-being in the workplace. (list of early adopters)

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Impact of Burnout on the Physician and the System

The charter cites over 10 years of research on burnout compiled by Mayo Clinic and others. According to their research, roughly two-thirds of physicians report feelings of burnout, depression, or both – with female physicians being more impacted than their male counterparts.

On an institutional level, the research shows that burnout can negatively impact the bottom line – reducing levels of patient satisfaction, safety, and quality of care.

How The Charter Commits to Physician Well-Being

The charter itself has three “key commitments” including “societal, organizational, and interpersonal and individual commitments” to improve the physician experience.  Additionally, it lays out four guiding principles for organizations to support physician well-being:

  • Patient care: Effective patient care promotes and requires physician well-being.

  • Well-being of all: Physician well-being is related with the well-being of all members of the health care team.

  • High-value care: Physician well-being is a quality marker.

  • Shared responsibility: Physician well-being requires collaboration between individual physicians and their organizations.

Has your organization signed the Charter? SurgeonMasters is committed to the Guiding Principles of the Charter, and we recommend your organization sign and commit to it too. 

Signing on to the Charter would be a great first step for any organization looking to reduce burnout among their physicians and staff.  

SurgeonMasters offers a vast array of resources and practice support for organizations and healthcare professionals navigating a life and career in medicine. The SurgeonMasters peer-support system provides a confidential, nonjudgmental, and enriching environment for self-development and team-building.

Reach out to to learn more.