Physician Well-Being and Coping with Burnout

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many new challenges and forced people to cope with the strain of unfamiliar, stressful situations — and Harvard Pilgrim recognizes that health care professionals have faced their own set of significant mental health challenges as a result.

Physician burnout is a common issue that has been greatly exacerbated by the added obstacles presented by the pandemic, but there are many excellent tools and resources to support you if you are experiencing burnout.

The Mayo Clinic recently published a comprehensive report that uses their “well-being index” to assess the pandemic’s impact on the state of well-being among health care workers in 2020. The report found that physicians identified as being at a high level of distress and are at a:

  • 5 times higher risk of burnout
  • 4 times higher risk of experiencing severe fatigue
  • 3 times higher risk of having a poor overall quality of life
  • 2 times higher risk of reporting a recent medical error
  • 2 times higher risk of suicidal ideation

Luckily, there are practical tools available to help improve health care providers prioritize mental health, build resiliency, and continue to cope with the obstacles of COVID-19.

The American Medical Association’s STEPS Forward™ series offers a collection of engaging and interactive educational toolkits that are practical, actionable “how-to” guides to transform and improve your practice. These toolkits address common practice challenges and offer solutions that aim to:

Other free resources for providers include:

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