Intervention to Promote Physician Well-being, Job Satisfaction, and Professionalism

We report the results of a randomized clinical trial testing an intervention with protected time provided by the institution to promote well-being and reduce distress in physicians

Colin P. West; Liselotte N. Dyrbye; Jeff T. Rabatin; Tim G. Call; John H. Davidson; Adamarie Multari; Susan A. Romanski; Joan M. Henriksen Hellyer; Jeff A. Sloan; Tait D. Shanafelt


Scholarcy highlights

  • DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Randomized clinical trial of 74 practicing physicians in the Department of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, conducted between September 2010 and June 2012
  • Rates of high depersonalization at 3 months had decreased by 15.5% in the intervention arm vs a 0.8% increase in the control arm
  • In additional comparisons including the nontrial physician cohort, the proportion of participants strongly agreeing that their work was meaningful increased 6.3% in the study intervention arm but decreased 6.3% in the study control arm and 13.4% in the nonstudy cohort
  • An intervention for physicians based on a facilitated small-group curriculum improved meaning and engagement in work and reduced depersonalization, with sustained results at 12 months after the study
  • These findings suggest that receiving unstructured protected time offered some benefits by itself, the advantages of the small-group curriculum were greater and persisted after the intervention concluded, for meaning and the closely associated interpersonal aspects of burnout
  • Additional research using rigorous comparative designs is needed to better understand which interventions are most useful in improving well-being across its many dimensions, as well as which physicians would benefit the most from specific approaches. This randomized clinical trial demonstrates that a facilitated small-group curriculum for physicians with protected time provided by the institution can improve elements of physician wellbeing, including meaning, empowerment, and engagement in work, and reduce distress, including depersonalization

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