Canadian Medical Association

As a health care leader, it’s important for your organization to show a commitment to physician health and wellness. One way you can do this is by creating a program that supports and promotes physician wellbeing. 

There is a lot of information available on physician health and wellness — and because there is no “one size fits all” approach, it can be difficult to know where to start.

The following steps from the American Medical Association (based on research by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) can help you create or improve a health and wellness program for your organization.  

Four steps to creating an effective physician health and wellness program 

Step 1: Set goals for your program 

  • Look at the goals and processes you have in place now. What are you already offering? 
  • Set target processes and goals. Create a profile of what physician wellness should look like.

Step 2: Identify key contributors to physician wellness 

  • Look at how individual, organizational and cultural factors interact to affect physician wellness. 

Step 3: Borrow what works from other programs 

  • Gather evidence from other organizations’ pilot programs to get a sense of what works to improve physician health and wellness.

Step 4: Get stakeholder input and measure performance 

  • Invite key stakeholders to contribute their thoughts before making recommendations.
  • Create a culture where all levels reinforce each other: physicians can make informed choices to support their own wellness, while the organization provides clear policies that support those choices. 
  • Set key performance indicators to measure wellness and draft clear policies around flexible supports and accommodations.

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