Nav: Home

National Academy of Medicine launches 'action collaborative' to promote clinician well-being and combat burnout, depression, and suicide among health-care workers

December 15, 2016

WASHINGTON - In response to alarming evidence of high rates of depression and suicide among U.S. health care workers, the National Academy of Medicine is launching a wide-ranging "action collaborative" of multiple organizations to promote clinician well-being and resilience. To date, more than 20 professional and educational organizations have committed to the NAM-led initiative, which will identify priorities and collective efforts to advance evidence-based solutions and promote multidisciplinary approaches that will reverse the trends in clinician stress and ultimately improve patient care and outcomes.

"It's disturbing that so many clinicians are stressed out and overwhelmed, but even more so when we consider the impact on patients and society," said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau, chair of the initiative. "Addressing this problem will require individual, organizational, and systems-level reform. The NAM is committed to leading this collaborative effort in finding workable solutions that will ultimately benefit us all."

Clinician burnout has been linked to increased medical errors and patient dissatisfaction, and recent research has shown that declines in the well-being of health care professionals cut across all ages, stages, and career paths - from trainees to experienced practitioners. As many as 400 physicians commit suicide each year, double the suicide rate of the general U.S. population, according to one study. A survey of more than 6,000 physicians conducted over a three-year period found that they have twice the risk of burnout compared with other professions. And the problem is not unique to physicians - nurses and other clinicians also report high rates of dissatisfaction and stress. For example, a 2007 study found that 24 percent of intensive care nurses and 14 percent of general nurses tested positive for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Some organizations have begun work to address clinician burnout on their own, but we know that this is a complex problem that no single solution is going to fix," said co-chair of the initiative Darrell G. Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges. "The NAM's platform will unite stakeholders from across the country and bring a much-needed multifaceted approach to clinician well-being."

"We need to better understand the causes of clinician burnout and depression and advance evidence-based solutions that reverse these troubling trends," added co-chair Thomas J. Nasca, chief executive officer of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and of ACGME International. "The ACGME has been fully engaged in this issue and we look forward to collaborating with the NAM to find effective solutions."

"The very people who have devoted their lives to keeping others healthy are at great risk of suffering from work-induced burnout," said James L. Madara, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Medical Association, a sponsor of the initiative. "Physician well-being must be a top priority in national discussions on patient care."

The collaborative will begin work in January 2017; public workshops and meetings will be scheduled throughout the year. For more information or to register to receive updates, visit https://nam.edu/initiatives/clinician-resilience-and-well-being.

Sponsors currently include the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation, American Board of Medical Specialties, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of American Medical Colleges, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, CRICO, Federation of State Medical Boards, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine, Society of Neurological Surgeons, and UAB Medicine.
-end-
Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine, and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org.

Contacts:
Molly Galvin, Senior Media Relations Officer
Rebecca Ray, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Related Depression Articles:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.
Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.
Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.
Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.
A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.
Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.
Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.
Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.
Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.
CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
More Depression News and Depression Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.