December 4, 2019

ACGME Launches AWARE Well-Being Resources

The ACGME has released resources specifically designed for residents, faculty members, and graduate medical education (GME) programs and institutions to promote well-being, mitigate the effects of stress, and prevent burnout. The AWARE suite of resources, which includes a variety of on-demand tools such as a video skill-building workshop, podcasts and an app, continues to build on the work of the ACGME to foster the well-being of GME community members.

“The ACGME is committed to the well-being of residents and fellows,” said Timothy P. Brigham, MDiv, PhD, Chief of Staff and Chief Education and Organizational Development Officer. “This important collection of resources, named AWARE, is another key piece in our overall approach to helping reduce burnout and stress, and create an environments where physicians thrive and provide quality patient care.”

This initial suite of resources focuses primarily on individual strategies for cognitive skill-building. The ACGME is continuing to grow the AWARE portfolio with the development of online and multimedia resources focused on addressing the organizational and cultural aspects of well-being. All AWARE resources are offered to the GME community free of charge and are currently available in three formats:

AWARE Cognition and Well-Being Skill Development Video Workshop
Aimed at program directors and designated institutional officials (DIOs), this two-hour video workshop is designed to provide programs with a framework for raising the issue of well-being with their residents by focusing on a series of cognitive skills and strategies. It is packaged as three short video presentations with slides that program directors can use as a model for leading a local workshop and discussion around cognition, mindsets, and well-being. It is accompanied by a Facilitator’s Guide detailing the workshop agenda, resources needed, activities, and guidelines for discussion. Log into Learn at ACGME to download the AWARE Video Workshop.

AWARE App (available in Apple Store and Google Play)
Designed for individual physicians, particularly junior residents, the AWARE app uses concepts from cognitive behavior therapy to help identify opportunities to improve well-being. The app helps users identify personal cognitive habits and directs them toward practices and resources they may find useful for improving well-being. The app includes video scenarios and didactics, as well as self-assessments and other resources. The app may also be used by a program or other group of individuals as part of a broader well-being curriculum.

AWARE Podcasts
Downloadable from virtually all podcast platforms, the AWARE podcasts consist of two series with different objectives.  Search for “ACGME AWARE” on podcast platforms, including Spotify and RadioPublic.

  • The Cognitive Skill-Building for Well-Being series is designed to teach individual clinicians and residents about common cognitive mindsets and effective strategies for enhancing their well-being.
  • The Systems and Research in Well-Being series is designed to connect program directors and DIOs with resources to help inform local systems/curricula to support the well-being of their clinicians, and to provide the community with updates on evolving evidence-based knowledge.

ACGME Senior Scholar for Well-Being Stuart Slavin, MD, MEd helped lead the development of this set of resources. Dr. Slavin is a leading national expert on well-being within the medical profession and has spoken to audiences around the country.

“We’ve tried to make these materials deeply substantive but also engaging and approachable so that information is relevant and accessible,” said Dr. Slavin.

Part of a Broader Well-Being Initiative
The curriculum released today is part of the broader ACGME Physician Well-Being initiative, which includes both the work of the organization and partnerships in the medical community. This includes:

  • Offering a range of well-being-related sessions at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference
  • Vetting and publishing tools and resources for resident, fellow, and faculty member well-being
  • Publishing research and articles on innovative approaches to enhancing physician well-being in The Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME)
  • Funding the ACGME’s Back to Bedside initiative that empowers residents and fellows to develop transformative projects aimed at engaging physicians with patients on a deeper level
  • Co-sponsoring the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience

Specific to accreditation, in 2017, the ACGME revised Section VI of its Common Program Requirements for all accredited residency and fellowship programs regardless of specialty, to address well-being more directly and comprehensively. The requirements emphasize that psychological, emotional, and physical well-being are critical in the development of the competent, caring, and resilient physician.

Media Contact Information
Susan White

Susan White

Vice President, Communications