Wellness Workshop Takeaway: People ‘Hungry’ for This Conversation

By Andy Smith | AAPL
April 28, 2018

Attendees gathered to learn more about an issue that plagues the personal and professional lives of so many physicians. 

By any measure, burnout – or physician wellness – is much more than an industry problem. As one attendee at Friday’s Beyond Burnout & Resilience workshop bluntly stated: “It’s a crisis in our profession.”

The class was filled to capacity to discuss an issue that plagues the personal and professional lives of so many physicians today – and to answer passionate questions like, “Why are we still in this profession?” “Is it still a calling?” And, “How do we help our fellow physicians rediscover that sense of calling?”

All questions faced all too often by physician leaders, and all the hot topic of discussion among faculty and attendees.

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Workshop attendees searched for answers to passionate questions like, “Why are we still in this profession?” And, “How do we help our fellow physicians rediscover that sense of calling?”

Here are some takeaways about physician wellness and the workshop after Friday’s session in the Gardner Room at the Boston Sheraton:

Nancy Sobel, MD, PhD, MBA, executive and physician coach at PhysicianLeaderSupport in Boston: “I was struck by how hungry people are for this conversation – about what’s going to make a difference in health and well-being.

"I was interested to see how much transformational conversation has started to show up in leadership, where people are starting to chip away and realize that the way they see things isn’t really the way they are. And if they can chip away at the way they see things then they can make a big difference. And I think we’re in such a hole in health care at the moment that it’s hard for people to see that they’re not really that way. It’s just the way they occur to them.

"[The workshop] was fun, and it was very interactive, and I think that everyone came away with something for themselves and their organization. I came away with … to see that the conversations I use in my coaching are the ones that are really in the air.”

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Daniel Friedland, MD, address workshop attendees during the session on “Leading Well from Within.”

Michael Canady, MD, MBA, CPE, FACS, CEO at Holzer Health System in Ohio: “I think the whole concept of mindfulness and being able to accept the fact that our thoughts throughout the day kind of are variable and random, and not letting them rule us but seeing those thoughts for what they are. They are thoughts, and they don’t have control over us.

"We’re going to try to find ways to embody that principle, and maybe some exercises with my management team to see if I can relay that piece of information to them.”

William Wessels, MMM, CPE, 1-2-1 Consulting: “What’s the one thing that I can do? If you’re busy, what’s the one thing I can do? Really try to find what that is. That’s learn to ask a better question. Ask why somebody’s acting that way. Why did he respond that way? And go beyond that: ‘Oh, you were busy today’ or ‘your computer broke down.’ Find out. Ask good questions. That will go a long way toward anyone in the organization being able to contribute.”

The two sessions of the workshop were led by Daniel Friedland, MD, founder and CEO of SuperSmartHealth, and Wiley “Chip” Souba, MD, ScD, MBA, a cancer surgeon and researcher who went on to become the dean of the medical schools at Ohio State and Dartmouth.  



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