New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Article Highlights Ways to Protect Clinician Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 13, 2020

A national strategy to prevent a parallel pandemic of clinician well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak rests on five high-priority actions, according to an article written by National Academy of Medicine CEO Victor J. Dzau, MD; Association of American Medical Colleges President Emeritus Darrell Kirch, MD; and ACGME President and CEO Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP. The article was published on the New England Journal of Medicine website* ahead of print.

"Just as the country rallied to care for September 11 first responders who suffered long-term health effects, we must take responsibility for the well-being of clinician first responders to COVID-19 — now and in the long run," the article states.

The actions include: 1) the elevation of an executive in charge of well-being at the institutional level who has a "powerful voice in decision making groups formed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while sustaining and bolstering existing well-being programs; 2) giving clinicians a safe and protected space to identify and discuss stressors and concerns so they can better advocate for their patients' and their own health; 3) sustain and supplement existing well-being programs; 4) allocate federal funding to care for clinicians negatively affected by their service during the COVID-19 pandemic; and 5) allocate federal funding to measure physician well being and report on intervention outcomes.

Access well-being resources for use during the COVID-19 pandemic on the ACGME's online portal, Learn at ACGME.

Read more about the ACGME’s overall commitment to physician well-being and view a compilation of tools and resources to support general well-being for residents, fellows, and faculty members.

*A subscription may be required to read the full article.