Healing the healers: What’s being done to address physician suicide?

March 18, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Healthcare Dive

Several medical organizations and schools have been taking steps to address the problem of physician burnout, depression, and suicide. A number of the efforts have been focused on medical students and residents. In 2009 Saint Louis University School of Medicine started implementing a new model for addressing students’ mental health by making changes in the curriculum, including the course content, contact hours, grading, and electives, and by requiring resilience/mindfulness experiences. A recent survey showed a significant drop in depression and anxiety among the school’s students. The Association of American Medical Colleges has a section on its website of resources for creating an optimal learning environment. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently launched its STEPS Forward series to address burnout among medical residents and fellows. An online module describes five key steps for creating a wellness culture, and it is accompanied by downloadable tools and implementation support. The AMA is also planning to launch the STEPS Forward program for physician suicide.

Spark Extra! Check out the AMA’s STEPS Forward series.