Focus on Physician Well-being

Finding Resiliency in Residency

Reversing Cycle of Burnout Starts With Knowing Yourself

Lauren Williams, M.D., a third-year resident at the North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Minneapolis, talks about the daily stress she faces and the tools and strategies she uses to help her maintain a healthy work-life balance, even with a hectic schedule. For her, avoiding burnout starts with knowing yourself and focusing on the things you value.

Third-year family medicine resident Lauren Williams, M.D.

'Medicine Is My Calling'

For This FP, Faith and Family Life Help Stave Off Burnout

When Stephen Dudley, M.D., swims in Puget Sound year-round, he's not just swimming. As he slices through the water, he's also praying. Dudley recently shared with AAFP News how his faith -- and a rich family life -- have helped protect him from burnout and made him a balanced, productive physician.

Stephen Dudley, M.D., and his son, Daniel, at a campfire

Out With the Old, In With the New

FP Achieves Wellness by Bucking Traditional Practice

Professional burnout is an all-too-common problem that plagues many family physicians. As part of the AAFP's strategic focus on overcoming professional burnout and cultivating physician well-being, AAFP News spoke with California native Chris Flores, M.D., a family physician who left traditional practice to open his own low-volume, low-overhead solo practice.

Chris Flores, M.D., with his wife, Maricela Fernandez

It's All About Perspective

Yoga, Volunteerism Help Medical Student Battle Burnout

Medical students are no strangers to burnout. Anna Askari, a fourth-year medical student at Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, says she's often felt burnt out. Askari recently spoke with AAFP News about how she copes with stress and burnout and how she plans to manage it as a resident and beyond.

AAFP President John Meigs, M.D., with AAFP Student Delegates to the AMA Anna Askari and Tyson Schwab

Take a Pause for the Cause

A Year's Reprieve in New Zealand Gives FP Fresh Perspective

In 2004, Wayne Strouse, M.D., temporarily shuttered his practice in Penn Yan, N.Y., packed up his family and moved to New Zealand, seeking refuge from burnout. The year away gave him perspective that fueled positive changes in the way he now lives and works. He recently shared his experiences and what he learned with AAFP News.

Wayne Strouse, M.D., with his wife and daughter in New Zealand

Tackle the Problem Head-on

Resident Confronts Burnout by Launching Wellness Program

Kristina Dakis, M.D., a second-year resident in the University of Illinois at Chicago Family Medicine Residency Program, recently gave AAFP News an inside look at her own experience with burnout early in her medical training and explains how it drove her to help create a medical student wellness program to combat it.

Second-year family medicine resident Kristina Dakis, M.D.

Find Your Joy Again

Embracing Whole-Person Care Key to Beating Burnout, Says FP

AAFP News recently spoke with Jamie Osborn, M.D., about her struggle with burnout and the tools she used to find joy once again in family medicine. Osborn, a married mother of two, relied on spirituality to help her regain a sense of balance after leaving her post as director of a fast-paced family medicine residency.

Jamie Osborne, M.D.

AAFP News Coverage on Physician Well-being

The AAFP joined 35 other organizations to sponsor the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, which focuses on the issues that lead to burnout.

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Amid growing concerns about physician burnout, one physician House member recently brought his medical colleagues together to raise awareness about the issue.

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The AAFP Board of Directors recently answered a call to adopt an official policy that lays out guidelines for prior authorizations.

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Speakers at this year's AAFP Leadership Conference discussed well-being resources the AAFP is preparing and tips that physicians can use immediately to fight burnout.

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Delegates to the 2017 National Conference of Constituency Leaders took action on topics considered by the Reference Committee on Education, including buprenorphine therapy, physician well-being and social determinants of health.

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A survey by the Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that key sources of headaches for primary care physicians are insurance companies and new performance measurements, not patient care.

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Family physicians feeling the stress of practicing primary care medicine today need to know they are not alone. They also should be encouraged to learn that some of their colleagues have made practice changes that have reduced hassles and made medicine meaningful and fun again.

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Physician Well-being Blog Posts

Late last year, Kimberly Becher, M.D., reached a point where she thought the only thing in life she was doing well was patient care. She had to make changes at work and home to fight off burnout.

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Getting in tune with your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being is key to treating burnout. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., writes that she did all three at her local gym.

Kimberly Becher, M.D., writes that just three years out of residency she already is experiencing symptoms of burnout, but she has some ideas about how new physicians can cope.

Venis Wilder, M.D., writes that when physicians neglect their own needs, their ability to care for others suffers, as well.

Richard Bruno, M.D., M.P.H., the resident member of the AAFP Board of Directors, offers his peers advice on how to avoid burnout.

A growing body of evidence shows mindfulness meditation has the potential to reduce physician burnout.

AAFP News has written a lot about physician burnout this year. Lynne Lillie, M.D., looks at how the Academy is working on two of the problem's key drivers -- payment and regulatory burden.

Roughly 70 percent of medical residents meet the criteria for burnout. Joshua Tessier, D.O., explains how his residency program is helping residents recognize, treat and prevent it.

When Gerry Tolbert, M.D., asked a depressed patient what she does for fun, it dawned on him that physicians -- saddled with stressful jobs and demanding schedules -- should be asking themselves the same question.