Statement of the Permanente Medical Groups Representing 21,000-plus Physicians on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience
The physician leaders of the Permanente Medical Groups recognize that the factors contributing to burnout are complex and dynamic, as are the actions necessary to address this growing concern. As physician-led medical groups, our responsibility to our organizations and to our patients includes fostering an environment of physician well-being and resilience. We believe it is imperative to address the care of our physicians, providers, and staff by adopting the fourth facet of the Quadruple Aim, improved provider wellness.
Our organizations strive to support health and wellness by improving operational efficiencies, back-office support, and workflows. Kaiser Permanente’s integrated health care delivery program enables physicians to work in streamlined settings that emphasize care, not paperwork. We are dedicated to supporting an environment in which physicians and staff are able to care for themselves, and optimize their potential as healers.
Effectively addressing burnout requires deliberate decision-making from everyone involved in the clinical career pathway. It must be addressed in medical education curriculum, to make the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff a fundamental part of the academic experience. It must be addressed at the graduate level of medical education, so residents can build resilience and maintain their passion as caregivers. And it must be addressed for practicing physicians who provide and manage the care and leadership responsibilities that are at the heart of our delivery system. We must and can serve as role models to younger physicians in this regard.
We believe by taking the following steps, we can improve clinician wellness and resilience, and help our physicians and staff truly experience the joy of medicine:
Step 1: Acknowledge that burnout is real and regularly assess the extent to which burnout impacts our practices;
Step 2: Acknowledge the Quadruple Aim as a business imperative and continue to foster a Culture of Physician Well-being;
Step 3: Acknowledge and commit to addressing the challenge of burnout at multiple levels:
a. External and regulatory
The Permanente Medical Groups are pleased to participate in the National Academy of Medicine Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience and invite other health care organizations to join us in this important effort.
About the Permanente Medical Groups
The Permanente Medical Groups are composed of more than 21,000 physicians dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and the communities in which we provide care. We practice in eight self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente – an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to more than 11.8 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in eight states – from Hawaii to Maryland – and the District of Columbia.