The Nemours Program
At Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, I am grateful for the opportunity to lead and create change. We have crafted a resident and faculty wellness program that likely exceeds ACGME mandates, addressing mental and physical health as our priorities. I am excited to chair our new medical staff health and wellness committee and to engage others who are interested to participate and create palpable programs that will change the conversation and culture. We will partner with HR to ensure that every physician optimizes their benefits, and we will create a formal second victim program to address the daily PTSD trauma endured as a part of being human and bearing witness to death and violence, and sharing in our patients’ and their families’ grief and pain of loss. We are creating access for residents and faculty to a psychologist (who only treats physicians) for 24/7 acute mental health crisis coverage and other counseling needs; because physicians will not use the employee assistance program, they are unlikely to go to a counselor/therapist they don’t know until they hit “rock bottom.” We are partnering with Johnson and Johnson Human Performance Institute to support surgeons and physician leaders to experience a single-day training on “energy management” to optimize mental, physical, and emotional well being for inspired and purposeful living.
Explore This IssueAugust 2019
None of this is possible without getting buy-in from senior administrative and physician leaders, and I am proud to share that it is possible—slow, for sure, but possible. There is an emerging and rapidly expanding industry of technology focused on psychology and feedback to change our behaviors and improve “wellness,” and I am certain we will all hear more about the various platforms, apps, and potential “solutions” to improve wellness not only for physicians, but for all who work in healthcare. This is necessary because every healthcare organization will realize sooner or later that, in order to thrive, they must optimize engagement, performance, and productivity from their physicians, providers, and associates.
Dr. Wei is director of the NCH Resident and Faculty Wellbeing Program and division chief of pediatric otolaryngology/audiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital and professor of otolaryngology-head neck surgery, as well as chair of otolaryngology education at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando. She is also an associate editor of ENTtoday.