The Office of Clinician Well-Being helps clinicians and researchers stay enthusiastic about their careers in medicine.
By improving work environments, increasing efficiency and assisting those who are struggling, the Office of Clinician Well-Being aims to reduce burnout among MU School of Medicine faculty, fellows, residents and advance practice clinicians.
Burnout is defined as a work-related condition marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced feelings of personal accomplishment. Surveys show as many as 50% of doctors nationwide feel burned out. Burnout takes a personal toll, leading to elevated risk of depression, substance abuse and even suicide. It also affects the quality of care provided to patients. Ultimately, it causes clinicians to change jobs or leave the profession.
The Office of Clinician Well-being was established in 2019 under the leadership of Chief Wellness Officer Stephen Keithahn, MD. The office is dedicated to improving the work experience in three ways: culture of wellness, practice efficiency and personal resilience.
It conducts the American Medical Association’s burnout survey annually and then works with department and division leaders to address concerns raised in the results. It explores ways to enhance the time clinicians spend with patients by helping them reduce the time devoted to documentation. And it offers mental health support to clinicians and researchers. Craig Rooney, PhD, the office’s program director and psychologist, provides short-term counseling and referrals to psychiatrists or other support services.