ACOFP Member Survey on Physician Wellness and Preventative Measures for Protection
The current medical landscape highlights that physicians are experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of burnout. National studies show that at least 50% of physicians practicing in the United States are experiencing this harmful, detrimental disorder. This not only leads to personal consequences but potentially adverse patient events. As studies suggest, family medicine physicians are at the highest risk. To evaluate the impact of this effect on its current members and to establish strategies to promote wellness, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) appointed a Task Force on Physician Wellness. Data was collected by a voluntary internal survey between March 21 and April 7, 2019, distributed to all ACOFP members. A total of 133 members completed the survey. Nearly half (47%) of respondents admitted to experiencing burnout symptoms. The factors that influenced burnout the most were the burden of non-clinical/administrative work and the inefficient/burdensome electronic medical record. The most protective elements to combat burnout are having a supportive spouse/partner/family member and recognizing the meaning of their daily work. A transition must occur to focus on health instead of the disease of our physicians. Individual and organizational attention must be placed on the physical, mental and social well-being of physicians. In the creation of this task force, ACOFP has begun to create educational references, provide live CME and generate conversational networks for physician support.