Permanente wellness leaders discuss preventing burnout during the pandemic and beyond
As physicians work toward reaching the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their wellness and preventing burnout becomes increasingly critical. The latest episode of the Permanente Medicine Podcast with host Chris Grant examines the emotional toll of addressing a pandemic and what can be done to support doctors and clinicians.
In this episode, Chris Grant discusses the importance of physician wellness with 3 guests:
- Dawn Clark, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist and chief wellness officer, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
- Ashley Zucker, MD, psychiatrist, Southern California Permanente Medical Group
- Reggie Mason, MD, pulmonologist and physician lead for total health and inculturation, The Southeast Permanente Medical Group
In the first of a special 2-part episode, these physician leaders delve into how the pandemic has put a spotlight on the wellness of first-line medical responders and what is being done to support their mental and physical health. They also share personal experiences from working at the epicenter of COVID-19 and what they have observed in their respective areas of expertise.
For the second part of the podcast, the discussion turns to keys to preventing physician burnout through COVID-19 and the challenges medical teams currently face. Grant and the podcast guests also take a closer look at how to support self-care in medicine and offer advice for championing physician and clinician well-being into the future.
“We’re trying to normalize the fact that we may be all in different places of grief and processing our grief and also trying to let people know that it’s okay,” Dr. Clark says.
“As leaders,” Dr. Zucker adds, “one of the most important things we can do is talk about our mental health and what we do for ourselves to improve our mental health.”
The Permanente Medical Groups and their wellness leaders have worked diligently to launch and build on several well-being initiatives throughout the pandemic. Ongoing efforts include hosting virtual peer-support forums for physicians and clinicians, making mental health resources more readily available, and designating champions to promote wellness in their medical centers.