The POWER Journey of a Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group Physician (Pursuit of Wellness, Engagement, and Resilience through Social Support)


Susan Leggett-Johnson, MD, MBA; Gene Gincherman, MD; Mary Zmuda, MPH

Abstracts from the Kaiser Permanente 2019 National Quality Conference

From Mid-Atlantic States

Background: A 2018 Medscape Report of 15,000 physicians averaged 42% reporting burnout; burnout rates vary: Physicians younger than age 45 years at 35%, age 45 to 54 years at 50%, age 55 to 69 years at 41%. Burnout can be caused by work demands, difficult interactions, limited access to resources, and lack of social support. The symptoms are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low sense of meaning in work and life, leading to a decrease in joy in the workplace, which affects patient care, collegiality, turnover, and personal well-being.
Methods: The methods employed to impact burnout and cultivate joy in the workplace through social support are two-fold: 1) obtain leadership buy-in and lay the organizational foundation for a supportive culture—A) Value Equation updated to include “Physician Experience” as a component of organizational success; B) Physician Opinion Survey enhanced to include validated questions from Physician Wellness Inventory and American Medical Association’s Mini-Z Burnout Survey; 2) develop a diverse package of programs and events, offered at various touch-points, that enhance social support among colleagues and are in alignment with the Stanford WellMD Model of Professional Fulfillment.
Results: Although Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG) collects event-specific feedback, MAPMG recently added a multitude of wellness-related measures to the Physician Opinion Survey. The following measures will be used for evaluation of the impact of the social support journey (T1-T2 comparison available in 2019). “I feel valued as a physician in MAPMG.” “My Chief does a good job of recognizing people for their accomplishments and contributions.” “I have the support I need from others in my department to do my work.” “I have meaningful and supportive relationships with others in my department.” “I actively participate in my community or [Kaiser Permanente’s] volunteer opportunities, or in one of MAPMG’s Wellness Program activities.” “My work brings joy into my life.” “Feeling compassion for others is a regular part of how I work.”
Discussion: The overarching goal of providing a comprehensive social support journey throughout the career span of a MAPMG physician is to improve joy in the workplace, which directly correlates to outcomes such as increased engagement, resilience, health, and satisfaction. An important learning is that cultivating "joy," "well-being," and “support” mean different things to each unique individual, so it is necessary to be broad, but focused, in the approach. The next steps with MAPMG’s social support journey are to continue to reinforce the message that all offerings are cohesive and connected to a larger goal, and are not just individual offerings.

Abstracts from the Kaiser Permanente 2019 National Quality Conference


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