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Report Highlights Ways to Improve Physician Resilience

Recommendations include keeping a gratitude journal, enlisting peer support, learning new things

THURSDAY, Aug. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Strategies can be adopted for improving physician resilience and the ability to handle the challenges presented by patient care, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

With the considerable daily demands of practice, ranging from managing regulatory burdens to navigating medical liability issues, on top of caring for patients, physicians are feeling more pressure than ever. Strategies to improve resilience, or the ability to adapt and bounce back from the stress of the clinical environment, are important for physicians and have been developed in an AMA module.

The report recommends identifying desires, feelings, and actions that could be contributing to stress or burnout. In addition, physicians should write an individual mission statement; each action should be assessed within the framework of the mission statement. A gratitude journal listing three items that you are grateful for each day can be helpful. Peers should be enlisted for support; for example, joining a peer support group or talking over issues with fellow physicians. Noting that people who choose a career in medicine often have a thirst for knowledge, signing up to learn something new is also recommended. Finally, writing down inspiring patient stories is an effective way to reconnect with your reason for entering the medical field.

“There are many other ways to boost your resiliency and put joy back into your practice of medicine — the module includes 12 more ideas and also offers continuing education credit,” according to the AMA.

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