“In these challenging times, our own well-being and the well-being of our colleagues is more important than ever,” Stephanie Bonne, MD, FACS, associate professor of surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, and co-moderator of the Surgeon Well Being: What Can We Do? panel session, said. This professional panel addressed methods to promote surgeon wellness and prevent the development of burnout.
“Whenever individuals in society face great challenges, there are bright spots—people or groups that are adapting better to the stressor. Our job as human beings and physicians is to be a bright spot or be aware of bright spots and adopt them for ourselves,” stated John Chuck, MD, PhD, FACS, wellness consultant for health care professionals, Sacramento, CA. A key member for the Kaiser Permanente Health and Wellness Group, CA, Dr. Chuck helped create a set of core beliefs about physician wellness and resilience. Dr. Chuck and the group at Kaiser Permanente believe the goal is to engage, hear, and understand people and give them reasons to have hope for sustainable careers filled with joy and meaning.
Lilah Morris-Wiseman, MD, FACS, assistant professor, endocrine and surgery, and associate program director, general surgery residency, University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine – Tucson, believes that changing surgeon departmental cultures is crucial to helping residents succeed in complex environments. A well-being and resiliency program was created at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, where residents were taught to respond effectively to their environments and to create a common language to understand and discuss issues successfully. “We must simultaneously create an intentional culture that supports these behaviors and provides multiple paths to success in their lives and surgical careers,” Dr. Morris-Wiseman concluded.
“How we respond to life’s events is directly related to the quality of the lives we live,” said Carter LeBares, MD, PhD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery, and director, UCSF Center for Mindfulness in Surgery, University of California, San Francisco. Mindfulness training—a way of training the mind to both sustain focus and open awareness—is specifically developed through the practice of mindfulness meditation. With this practice among surgeons, “mindfulness-based cognitive skills serve to strengthen our performance, whether that be mastery of complex technical skills, professionalism, or proscociality,” she said.
Using data based on a New England Journal of Medicine article—Discrimination, Abuse, Harassment, and Burnout in Surgical Residency Training—Yue-Yung Hu, MD, MPH, assistant professor, surgery, and associate program director, general surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, IL, provides new information on surgical well-being and what really causes burnout. Dr. Hu and colleagues are currently working on the Surgical Education Culture Optimization Through Targeted Interventions Based on National Comparative Data (SECOND) Trial, which aims to create a multidimensional Wellness Toolkit that programs can use to identify potential initiatives to improve resident well-being.
This Monday, October 5, session will be available for on-demand viewing on the virtual Clinical Congress 2020 website through December 31.