Study: Discussion Groups Boost Physician Well-Being

Facilitated discussion groups for physicians at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., improved physician empowerment and reduced depersonalization, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The discussion groups met biweekly for nine months and focused on mindfulness, reflection, shared experience and small group learning. Seventy-four practicing physicians participated, and their survey results were compared with those of 350 physicians who did not participate in the groups.

By three months after the study, physicians in the trial reported increased empowerment and engagement by 5.3 points compared to those who did not participate. Additionally, rates of high depersonalization decreased by 15.5 percent for participating physicians, while nonparticipating providers saw a 0.8 percent increase.

The results show that facilitated small group discussions can improve meaning and engagement in work for physicians.

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