Well-Being Weekly | Week of September 7th, 2020

Explore the latest research, news, and developments in the world of wellness in this installment of the Well-Being Weekly. Get caught up on this week's biggest stories surrounding mental health and well-being in the healthcare industry, provided by Well-Being Index experts Patrick McNally and Sunny Prabhakar. 

Prioritizing mental health shouldn't be risky for physicians

In a recent article published in MedPage Today, Dr. Leigh Vinocur discusses the psychological impact of the pandemic on medical professionals and how the stigma of seeking help makes the situation even more dangerous. 

"Physicians in all specialties are reluctant to reach out for mental health help, even in the best of times. Many of us fear that seeking treatment could jeopardize our career," said Dr. Vinocur. She continued to point out the expectations that clinicians face regarding their well-being. "It is unreasonable to expect a physician to absorb and handle these issues themselves while others can seek counseling or care. And it's even worse that we would feel forced to ignore or downplay these stressors during a pandemic."

Read the full article to learn more about what medical associations are doing to challenge the status quo and what Dr. Vinocur says must be done to promote mental healthcare among clinicians.

Stigma compounds the consequences of clinician burnout during COVID-19

Another recent text focused on the stigma of mental health treatment and the culture of silence comes from the National Academy of Medicine. In the article, Jennifer B. Feist explains the events leading up to the death of her sister, Manhattan emergency medical worker Dr. Lorna Breen.

"Lorna was worried that she would lose her medical license or be ostracized by her colleagues, because she was suffering due to her work on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Lorna had no prior history of mental health issues, either known or suspected. But when she experienced a mental health crisis for the first time during the pandemic, she was afraid to get help. She was worried it would end the career that she had spent her entire life working for." Dr. Breen tragically died by suicide in late April. 

The stigma associated with clinician mental health is not new, however, as stated in the NAM article. "The culture of silence was a stifling burden before COVID-19. Now, coupled with the isolating effect of the pandemic, the consequences of stigma are ever more dangerous."

Explore the entire NAM commentary to learn about how we can protect clinicians and the progress that has already been made, such as recommendations by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the Joint Commission for less intrusive interview questions and new policies to avoid penalizing clinicians for seeking mental health help. 

Mayo Clinic burnout expert Dr. Lotte Dyrbye to keynote the Champions of Wellness Virtual Summit 2020

The Champions of Wellness Virtual Summit 2020 has announced its keynote speaker, Well-Being Index inventor Dr. Lotte Dyrbye! The 2-day digital event is focused on leading the way to mental health and well-being in the COVID-19 era, and is happening October 8th and 9th. 

Dr. Dyrbye is a professor of medicine and medical education at Mayo Clinic and is Co-Director of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Medicine Physician Well-Being Program. As a world-renowned innovator and thought leader in clinician wellness, she has spent years studying burnout, depression, and well-being among healthcare providers and co-developed the Well-Being Index.

Dr. Dyrbye’s work was the impetus for the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, where she serves on the research subcommittee. She has received 11 competitive research grants to support her work, is frequently invited to give presentations both nationally and internationally, and has authored over 130 journal articles, abstracts, and other written publications related to clinician well-being. 

Visit ChampionsofWellness.com/summit to explore the full agenda, speaker topics, and more. Register now before space fills up! You won't want to miss the insightful presentations from Dr. Dyrbye and other industry-leading wellness experts.

Well-Being Weekly

Make sure to look for next week's Well-Being Weekly update to stay on top of everything happening in the world of wellness. Follow the Well-Being Index on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for even more content and resources surrounding clinician well-being and mental health!


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