The AAFP has been an early leader in improving physician well-being. We are now excited to announce the Academy's first-ever Leading Physician Well-Being program (LPW), which is an extension of our previous work with our Physician Health First initiative. This program is made possible by the generous funding of the United Health Foundation.
LPW is a unique certificate program designed to equip family physicians with the knowledge, experience and leadership skills necessary for leading change to improve physician and clinician well-being within their practices and organizations. At the successful completion of the program, scholars will earn a physician leadership certificate and be recognized as thought leaders and spokespeople for physician well-being. This program will consist of a cohort of 100 family physician scholars annually.
LPW aims to spearhead impactful change in health care practices and organizations. This program will include didactic education and an applied project utilizing a combination of online and face-to-face learning focused on topics of physician well-being and theories around leading change and implementing performance improvement. The three foundational elements of this program are:
Family physicians now, more than ever, are needing to provide leadership in their practices and organizations. LPW will help provide the tools needed for physicians to feel confident stepping up to lead during a time of organizational challenge and uncertainty. In addition to learning how to adapt with change during uncertain times, scholars will have the opportunity to network and develop professional relationships with colleagues for support and guidance.
The United Health Foundation (UHF) reached out to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) offering an opportunity to partner in their mutually shared goal of improving physician well-being. Through this partnership, the AAFP was able to develop and now offer LPW.
United Health Foundation is a non-profit foundation established by UnitedHealth Group in 1999 with a mission to help build healthier communities by improving health and health care.
UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services.
LPW’s vision is that scholars who successfully complete the program will be equipped to implement innovative solutions and best practices, improving the well-being of colleague physicians and other team members. The AAFP envisions every scholar gaining the confidence to be change leaders and the capability to successfully implement improvements in their practices and organizations. The resulting impact will be sustained physician well-being and improved patient outcomes. LPW graduates will constitute and engage in a national community of physician well-being champions.
LPW consists of a 10-month series of three livestreamed or in-person core sessions along with regular online activities, all facilitating development of a supportive learning community. LPW combines didactic education and an applied project that will include virtual, online touchpoints between in-person* sessions. Online learning facilitates familiarity with the core topics. The livestreamed or in-person learning sessions facilitate skill building and advanced learning. There are two core modules along with the applied activity.
Module one builds expertise in physician well-being. It includes education regarding the current state and importance of well-being, measuring well-being, and current overview of best practices, influencing factors, evidence-based solutions and strategies for improvement. Module one culminates with each scholar developing a plan to raise awareness of the importance of physician well-being in their practice and organization.
Module two equips scholars to be agents of change and focuses on leading through influence, change management, organizational change theories and performance improvement, as well as communicating with the public and medical community. Module two culminates with each participant developing a change management plan for their organization to improve physician well-being.
*May change to a livestreamed activity based on recommendations from the CDC/local health department and scholars' ability to travel.
Additionally, each scholar is highly encouraged to complete development of a plan for and initial implementation of an applied performance improvement project within their practice or organization. The PI project provides the scholar experience in designing and implementing an improvement plan. It is our expectation that the PI-CME project would be completed by the following October.
All American Academy of Family Physician active members are eligible for LPW. In order to achieve sustained and widespread impact, a diverse LPW cohort of family physicians is desired, including new physicians (first seven years of practice), women in medicine, those underrepresented in medicine, and those who work in rural practices or with other vulnerable populations.
Because of the commitment that students and residents have, we do not feel that involvement makes sense for this specific program. However, if a resident has commitment and time support from their resident program director, they are welcome to apply and should submit that letter of support.
Applications for the first cohort have closed. All applicants selected for the first cohort will be notified in early December 2020. Participants must confirm their participation by mid-January 2021.
Please check back in September 2021 to apply for the second cohort.
Because of generous support from the United Health Foundation, there are no registration fees for participation in LPW. Scholars are responsible for all travel and housing expenses, as well as food and beverage costs not covered during meetings.
Yes, this program will offer CME credit for qualifying activities, with the amount of credit to be determined. Scholars will also have an opportunity to get PI-CME hours as well.
The program consists of two cohorts. Each LPW cohort will last for 10 months. The first cohort will meet from January 2021 to October 2021. The second cohort will meet from January 2022 to October 2022.
Please note that this timeline assumes we have no significant restrictions on travel and gatherings starting in January 2021. However, the AAFP is anticipating the need for flexibility. Adjustments will be made based on circumstances and changed accordingly. Please note that we are asking that all PI-CME projects be completed in the year following cohort participation – the first cohort's by October 2022 and the second cohort's by October 2023.
Yes, though the February 2021 and April 2021 core sessions will be livestreamed for remote real-time learning, eventually travel will be required for in-person meetings once they are feasible again. There will be no accommodations to participate remotely in the live, in-person sessions. Each core session will either be in-person or livestream. However, if necessary, additional live sessions will be transitioned to virtual, livestreamed for all scholars. Our priority is safety. In 2021, live in-person meetings are scheduled for October. Contingency plans will be made should in-person meetings need to become virtual. As a reminder, scholars are responsible for all travel and housing expenses, as well as food and beverage costs not covered during meeting.
In-person location and meeting logistics are still being determined. Once locations are confirmed for the other in-person meetings, an update will be posted here.
At the successful completion of the program, scholars will earn a Leading Physician Well-being certificate and the AAFP will recognize scholars as thought leaders and spokespeople for physician well-being. You will receive AAFP CME credit for participating. LPW is offered tuition-free.
Other benefits include:
This program utilizes a part-time fellowship model requiring continuous engagement throughout the program’s duration. Outside of the three live sessions, scholars should plan on dedicating 5% to 10% (1-3 hours/week) of their time over the 10-month period. This includes preparation for and follow-up after live sessions and webinars – especially focused on understanding the needs of the scholar's practice and organization, identifying opportunities for improvement, and designing and implementing an applied improvement project.
Contact the Leading Physician Well-being Program team at LPW@aafp.org.