Physician Health First

Why Well-being?

Discover why improving physician well-being is our mission and how we are working to reverse the trend toward family physician fatigue.

Why Well-being?

Discover why improving physician well-being is our mission and how we are working to reverse the trend toward family physician fatigue.

Caring for your patients starts with caring for yourself. That is why the AAFP is committing its efforts to improving the health and well-being of family physicians, so you can stay passionate about your purpose: providing quality patient care.

Physician Health First is the first-ever comprehensive initiative devoted to improving the well-being and personal satisfaction of family physicians, and reversing the trend toward physician burnout.  

Defining Burnout

“[Job burnout is] a psychological syndrome in response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The three key dimensions of this response are an overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.”1

The subject of burnout is of critical concern to the AAFP because family physicians suffer from significantly higher rates of burnout than physicians in most other specialties.2,3

  • Nearly two-thirds of family physicians experience at least one element of burnout
  • Female family physicians suffer burnout more than their male counterparts
  • Early and mid-career physicians are at greatest risk
Physician Well-being Ecosystem

With Physician Health First, the AAFP takes a holistic view of the factors affecting physician well-being, and addresses them from five points of entry:

Health Care System – Advocating to improve regulation and documentation burdens that impact physician well-being and quality patient care

Organization – Promoting leadership skills to help physicians succeed within organizational practices and policies

Practice – Improving efficiencies to optimize physicians’ time and promote a more sustainable practice

Individual – Focusing on individual well-being habits to address physician fatigue with awareness and mindfulness techniques

Physician Culture – Addressing the mindset of physician self-sacrifice as a cultural norm and encouraging self-care and peer-to-peer support
 


AAFP Foundation

The AAFP Physician Health First initiative is made possible by your generous contributions to the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation(www.aafpfoundation.org).


References

1. Maslach C, Schaufeli WB, Leiter MP. Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol. 2001;52:397-422.

1. Leiter MP, Frank E, Matheson TJ. Demands, values, and burnout: relevance for physicians. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55(12):1224‐1225, 1225.e1‐6.

2. Shanafelt TD, Hasan O, Dyrbye LN, et al. Changes in burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance in physicians and the general US working population between 2011 and 2014. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015;90(12):1600-1613.

3. Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017.