Physician burn-out is a growing concern in the United States. St. Luke’s University Health Network has launched a new residency program designed to stop burn-out before it happens.
The new program promotes “lifestyle medicine” for both patients and doctors. Introduced by Dr. Alan Remde, director of research and curriculum, the program aims to improvepatient care by way of addressing providers’ own health and satisfaction. Incoming family medicine residents are taught a “practice-what-you-preach” approach to communication, stress management, healthy eating and exercise, as well as other self-care techniques.
According to a 2015 survey by the Archives of Internal Medicine, 46 percent of physicians report work related physical and emotional exhaustion. Concerned by this high rate of burnout, Remde designed the primary care residency program to help residents learn to take better care of themselves throughout their career.
The residents will design and conduct research studies around the issues of diet, mindfulness and managing stress,with the intent of improving outcomes for both provider and patient.
“The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but our healthcare model for chronic disease is no longer working for doctors or patients,” Remde says. “Clearly, it’s time to develop a new model that starts with the provider.”