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 an 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 added physician wellness as a goal, and will be developing related programs in the near future.
An overview of available resources approaching wellness cultivation from a variety of perspectives.
The WSMA is committed to helping physicians develop the skills they need to thrive professionally in today’s health care environment, regardless of where you are in your career or 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.
Our Center for Leadership Development offers multiple opportunities to develop your leadership skills without taking time away from your practice. Offerings include:
Visit the WSMA's Center for Leadership Development to learn more about these opportunities.
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, the Washington Physicians Health Program began broadening its scope of services by presenting programs that enhance clinicians’ health by reducing stress and increasing physician satisfaction. The Washington Physicians Health Program's new wellness programs include mindfulness and compassion cultivation workshops.
Visit the Washington Physicians Health Program website for a preview of upcoming wellness programs.
The WSMA established the Washington Physicians Health Program (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, the Washington Physicians Health Program is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization under contract with the state Department of Health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As most WSMA members are too sadly aware, physicians, who devote their lives to easing others' suffering, die by their own hands at higher rates than the general population. The WSMA offers the following reminder to its members that physician-focused help and resources are available to them and their colleagues in times of need.
Washington Physicians Health Program
The WSMA encourages members to contact the Washington Physicians Health Program at 800.552.7236 or 206.583.0127 if you or someone you know is in distress and needs personal assistance. All calls are confidential. While participating in the WPHP program, practitioners may continue to practice without being exposed to disciplinary action by their medical staff or state medical board as long as they do not become disruptive or threaten to compromise patient care. Visit www.wphp.org to learn more about the program and its role in helping physicians.
To help raise greater awareness about the physician suicide epidemic and to provide physicians the tools to attend to their own well-being, the Physicians Foundation has launched Vital Signs, a new educational campaign. Vital Signs features a webpage to help understand the warning signs to look for in someone who may be suicidal and provides a guide to help start a conversation with a physician about whom a colleague may be concerned. Learn more.