Physician trauma: How med schools and hospitals are addressing the problem

A growing number of medical schools and hospitals are taking measures to help physicians experiencing job-related trauma, according to AAMCNews.

Physicians have traditionally been expected to stay stoic amid traumatic events. Yet a 2019 meta-analysis found over two-thirds of providers involved in adverse clinical events had troubling memories, anxiety, anger, remorse and distress. Some institutions, including medical schools and hospitals, are launching creative initiatives to respond to physicians' struggles.

For example, Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine has worked to foster "learning communities," which encourage students to reflect on their experiences starting in their first year of medical school. Temple also holds "Story Slams," which allow students, residents and faculty to publicly reflect on traumatic events. 

In another example, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Braintree, Mass., launched its Center for Professionalism and Peer Support in 2008. The program is dedicated to fostering caregivers' well-being so they can better care for patients. The program's peer support group reaches out to anyone involved in potentially stressful situations, which helps destigmatize providers' struggles with mental health and encourages them to speak up when they need help.

Click here to read about other institutions' solutions to the problem of physician trauma.

More articles on physicians and integration issues:
Dr. Eric Topol: Physicians need a medical association not focused on business
Med schools should assess students on empathy, researchers say
Inaugural class starts tuition-free at NYU Long Island School of Medicine

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