• Leading Physician Well-being FAQ

    What is the Leading Physician Well-being program? 

    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:

    1. Physician Well-being
    2. Leadership Development 
    3. Performance Improvement 

    Why is this program so important? 

    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. 

    How was the Leading Physician Well-being program developed? 

    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. 

    Who is United Health Foundation? 

    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.

    What is this program's vision? 

    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.

    What will this program consist of? 

    LPW consists of a 10-month series of three core sessions (2 in-person*, 1 livestreamed), 6 webinars (4 program and 2 guest) 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 core 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. 

    Cohort 1 PI project themes include: workplace culture, employee appreciation, burnout, wellness committees, residency programs, diversity, equity & inclusion, workflow, and narrative medicine.

    Who is eligible to participate and what are the requirements? 

    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.  

    Are student or resident members eligible to register?

    Due to the time commitment, students are not eligible for this program. Residents may apply for this program if they have commitment and time support from their resident program director. As part of the application process, residents must submit a letter of support from their resident program director.

    Students and Residents who are interested in leadership development are strongly encouraged to apply to the AAFP Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Institute.

    When does the application open and when will I find out if I am selected? 

    Applications for the second cohort are now open. Applications are due November 5, 2021. All applicants selected for the cohort will be notified in early December 2021. Participants must confirm their participation by mid-January 2022.

    Please note that incomplete application packets will not be considered.

    How much does it cost to participate? 

    Because of generous support from the United Health Foundation, there are no registration fees for participation in LPW. Registration fees are also covered for the Physician Health and Well-being Conference. Scholars are responsible for all travel and housing expenses, as well as food and beverage costs not covered during sessions.

    Is CME credit offered for this program? 

    Yes, this program will offer CME credit for qualifying activities, with the amount of credit to be determined. In addition, scholars will have the opportunity to get both AAFP CME credit and ABFM certification points for their performance improvement projects.

    How long does this program last? 

    Each LPW cohort will last for 10 months. The second cohort will meet from February 2022 to November 2022. Please note that baseline assessments and pre-work will be provided in January 2022 and should be completed prior to the first webinar.

    See the full schedule here.

    Please note that this timeline assumes we have no significant restrictions on travel and gatherings starting in January 2022. However, the AAFP is anticipating the need for flexibility. Adjustments will be made based on circumstances and changed accordingly.

    Please note that all PI-CME projects must be completed by November 2023.

    Will travel be required? 

    Yes, although the May 2022 core session will be livestreamed for remote real-time learning, travel will be required for in-person core sessions in March/April 2022 and November 2022. There will be no accommodations to participate remotely in the in-person core sessions. However, if necessary, additional live sessions will be transitioned to livestreamed sessions for all scholars. Our priority is safety. 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 core sessions.

    Where will the in-person sessions be located?

    Activity A and Physician Well-being Conference will be located at the Naples Royale Beach Resort in Naples, Florida. Room block information will be shared with selected scholars once available.

    Live In-Person Session C’s location and meeting logistics are still being determined.

    What are the benefits and incentives to participating in this program? 

    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:

    • Networking. Having peer-to-peer support and the ability to reach out to others for questions, support and guidance. 
    • Being equipped to become an effective leader, agent of change and physician well-being expert.
    • Preparation for further career development as a physician well-being leader and champion. 
    • Opportunity to complete a PI-CME project that has a direct impact on your organization.

    What is the time commitment for participation in this program?

    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. 

    Who can I contact if I have more questions regarding this program?

    Contact the Leading Physician Well-being Program team at LPW@aafp.org.