How one chief wellness officer deals with his own burnout

Kirk Brower, MD, faculty director of the new Michigan Wellness Office at the University of Michigan Medical School suffered from a serious bout of burnout, leaving him cynical and angry. He brings his personal experience with burnout and insights learned into his role as chief wellness officer of University of Michigan Medical School, according to a March 31 AMA interview. 

Since starting the role in 2019, Dr. Brower has established a wellness advocacy network that encompasses 30,000 employees, which he meets with every other week. The network consists of representatives from clinical and science departments that will then share their ideas and suggestions with other leaders. They also have a grant program that allows different departments to pilot programs that help employee wellbeing.

"One thing is change takes time, but it happens," Dr. Brower said. "Relationships with whomever I interact with are the key. As a chief wellness officer, I can't really afford to have anybody other than allies. It's really connecting with people where they're at. And realizing that all challenges are opportunities."

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