September 22, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Wellness
The California Medical Association (CMA) has long been dedicated to wellness because up to 60% of physicians and residents report burnout, and the physician suicide rate is twice that of the general population. Studies have also found that burnout can erode quality of care, patient safety, physician retention rates and patient satisfaction.
CMA believes physician well-being and professional fulfillment are critical factors in maintaining patient access to quality care, and we must address this challenge at the organizational and systemic level while providing innovative resources to help physicians prevent or address burnout.
COVID-19 has further strained California’s health care system and will likely continue to for the foreseeable future. Clinicians who are on the frontlines of this crisis are facing unprecedented stress, risks to their physical safety, significant disruptions in social support, moral dilemmas, systemic racism and emotional distress. Even so, they still rise to the challenge of caring for Californians day-in and day-out.
In response to the pandemic, CMA’s wellness initiative (CMA Wellness) launched Care 4 Caregivers Now (C4CN) in March 2020 to help manage the emotional burnout health care workers have endured. C4CN recently expanded its mission to help more health care workers struggling with any stress-related challenge or who simply want to take action to feel more empowered.
Peer coaching is now available for physicians (M.D. and D.O.), physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, certified respiratory therapists, registered respiratory therapists, residents/fellows, medical students, public health officers and medical reserve corps volunteers.
C4CN is free, confidential (no mandated reporting requirement) and virtual. Caregivers receive one-on-one emotional support from trained medical practitioners who understand the rigors and emotional stresses of the profession, and who know the value of a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space.
CMA Wellness believes that anyone can benefit from peer coaching and that it can especially help those who:
- struggle to find balance in their work and personal life
- are increasingly frustrated, angry and/or anxious
- worry about financial insecurity, social injustice, systemic racism and/or inequitable opportunity
- are feeling burned out or unable to sleep
- just want to talk to someone who understands
Participants report that their weekly 30-minute sessions have helped build more calmness, focus and control, as well as find clarity and empowerment to better plan for the future. Peer coaches can also help connect caregivers to additional resources to further aid their growth.
Interested caregivers can sign up to receive support at care4caregiversnow.org.