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Physician Wellness

Together with reducing administrative burden, the WSMA's Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients initiative provides physicians with programs and resources to help manage burnout and stress in their practices.

To combat the growing epidemic of physician burnout, the WSMA has embraced the "Quadruple Aim," which builds on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim of improving the care quality, improving population health and lowering costs by adding a fourth component: Improving the quality of life and work of health care clinicians.

The WSMA has introduced Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients, an initiative campaign aimed at improving physician satisfaction with a strong focus on decreasing administrative burden. Healthy Doctors, Healthier Patients also provides programs and resources to help physicians manage stress and burnout in their practices, many of which you can find on this page.

The WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement, the WSMA's not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed to help improve the health and well-being of all Washingtonians, has also recently added physician wellness as a goal, and will be developing related programs in the near future.

Physician Wellness Resources

An overview of available resources approaching wellness cultivation from a variety of perspectives.

Leadership development with the WSMA

Once out of residency, many physicians will find themselves leading a multidisciplinary team charged with delivering the highest quality care to our patients. To be an effective team leader, core leadership competencies are required—skills not taught in medical school. Without these skills, physicians may find themselves unprepared and overburdened with unexpected responsibilities—a recipe for burnout.

The WSMA is committed to helping physicians develop the skills they need to thrive professionally in today’s health care environment, regardless of the type or size of your organization. Developing core leadership competencies can strengthen clinician resilience, improve time and stress management, and help you achieve greater workflow efficiency.

The WSMA offers year-round leadership development opportunities, including:

WSMA Leadership Development Conference
This 1 1/2 day annual conference has become one of the premier physician events in the Pacific Northwest.

WSMA Physician Leadership Course  
The WSMA Physician Leadership Course is a dynamic, interactive hybrid-distance learning course that combines in-person and online learning to deliver 40 hours of curriculum over a 10-week period, requiring minimum time away from patient care.

WSMA Dyad Leadership Course
This three-day, in-person educational workshop focuses on leadership development of physicians and their administrative partners.

WSMA Physicians Business Skills webinars
WSMA’s business skills education program seeks to give new physicians a better understanding of the health care marketplace, focusing on internal finances, financial relationships with external partners and general compliance issues.

Washington Physicians Health Program

The Washington Physicians Health Program assists health care professionals with medical conditions that may affect their ability to practice medicine safely. These conditions include substance use and behavioral health disorders, as well as physical and cognitive disorders.

In 2015, WPHP began broadening its scope of services by presenting programs that enhance clinicians’ health by reducing stress and increasing physician satisfaction. WPHP’s new wellness programs include mindfulness and compassion cultivation workshops.

Visit the WPHP website for a preview of upcoming wellness programs.

The WSMA established WPHP (known then as the Washington Monitored Treatment Program) in 1986, with both the legislative and financial foundation to function as an independent, nonprofit organization. In 1993, the name was changed to the Washington Physicians Health Program.

Today, WPHP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization under contract with the Department of Health.

Institute for Functional Medicine

The Institute for Functional Medicine promotes physician and patient wellness through courses on treating chronic disease with lifestyle remedies. IFM focuses on areas such as nutrition, exercise/movement, sleep/relaxation, stress-management, relationships and more. 

Visit the IFM website for a list of upcoming CME.

IFM is an ACCME-accredited provider of continuing medical education.

Spokane County Medical Society Foundation Wellness Program

The Spokane County Medical Society Foundation Wellness Program is designed to address the barriers that typically prevent physicians and physician assistants from getting the help they need. The purpose of the Wellness Program is to create a safe harbor where physicians and PAs can seek the help they need and deserve. The program provides counseling and coaching services that are tailored to individual needs: It is quickly accessible at the convenience of the physician/PA, confidential, free for members, private and minimally constrained by record-keeping.

Other wellness resources

The HappyMD
The website of Mayo-trained family physician Dr. Dike Drummond, CEO of TheHappyMD.com and physician coach and health care speaker. He is the author of "Stop Physician Burnout: What to Do When Working Harder Isn't Working." TheHappyMD.com offers a variety of resources aimed at preventing physician burnout, including an email newsletter, blog, app for your mobile phone and much more.

Sinsky Healthcare Innovations
The website of Drs. Christine and Thomas Sinsky, wife and husband general internists who care about patient and physician well-being and the future of primary care. Drs. Sinsky are co-authors of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation study of high-functioning primary care practices, “In Search of Joy in Practice.” Their website includes practical resources on how to organize your clinical practice, build stronger teams, work more efficiently with the EHR and manage administrative and regulatory tasks, and more.

Physician Family magazine
Physician Family magazine focuses on issues and challenges faced by medical families, with special emphasis on the four stages of medical life—medical school, residency and fellowship, active practice and retirement. Other topics covered include relationships, health and wellness, work/life balance, financial and legal issues, making a difference, food, travel and humor, and more. American Medical Association Alliance members receive hard copies of the magazine and an online version is available free to everyone on the Physician Family website. 

Join or renew your membership today