Stanford Medicine recognized for supporting physician wellness

Joy in MedicineChanging the culture that has led to a national epidemic of physician burnout doesn’t happen overnight. But efforts at Stanford Medicine — which have grown to include departmental and organizational initiatives, ongoing assessment tools, and engagement and accountability at the highest levels — are gradually beginning to take hold and helping to advance the cause.

Now those efforts have been acknowledged by the American Medical Association’s new Joy in Medicine Recognition Program. Stanford Medicine, which comprises Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children’s Health and the School of Medicine, has received the program’s highest recognition.

“Stanford Medicine has long been a leader in taking on some of the world’s most challenging medical problems,” said LLOYD MINOR, dean of the School of Medicine. “In facing the systemic issue of physician burnout, we’ve turned our lens of inquiry inward. We’re proud to receive this recognition from the AMA that marks our progress and encourages us to stay the course.”

The AMA may recognize health care organizations with a bronze, silver or gold based on performance in in six areas: commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support.

Several of Stanford’s initiatives seek to improve the experience of frontline physicians. A dedicated well-being director in almost all of Stanford’s 18 clinical departments focuses on addressing the challenges and frustrations unique to each department, such as rearranging schedules within the department to minimize disruptions in workflows.

“We have a long way to go in our work to improve physician wellness, but this recognition indicates that Stanford Medicine not only acknowledges this challenge but also has the highest level of commitment to change things for the better,” said TAIT SHANAFELT, professor of medicine and chief wellness officer at Stanford Medicine. “The AMA designation recognizes that Stanford Medicine has established the appropriate systems and processes to begin to make meaningful progress at the organizational level — work that the school and hospital leadership are dedicated to continuing.”

Read more on the Stanford Medicine webpages.

For resources on physician wellness at Stanford, visit WellMD.