Blocking the Burnout: A Case Report of Implementing an Evidence-based Wellness Initiative for Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship
Cynthia Khoo MD PhD, Patrycja Hanyen MD, Jonay Hill MD
Department of Anesthesiology, Stanford University, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Physicians have the challenging task of navigating between personal and patient needs. Rising rates of burnout and physician suicides led the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to launch a wellness requirement, which accredited Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine (RAAPM) fellowship programs must fulfill. Burnout is defined as a psychological syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished sense of accomplishment; specifically, physician burnout is associated with increased self-reported errors and suboptimal care. To address this growing issue, Stanford anesthesiology developed the Peer Support and Resiliency In Medicine (PRIME) program, which includes an introductory retreat and regular sessions throughout residency teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques. The inception of an accredited RAAPM fellowship led to the expansion of PRIME to fellows. We combined a questionnaire of anesthesiology fellows and evidence-based practices to tailor a wellness initiative aimed at promoting resilience and preventing burnout.