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Physicians need to be trained in a way that considers their well-being over the course of a lifelong career.
ACGME Symposium on Physician Well-Being

Planting the Seeds of Change

On November 17-18, 2015, the ACGME held the first Symposium on Physician Well-Being. This important event brought together representatives from across the medical continuum, as well as well-being experts, to engage in critical discussion necessary to initiate transformational changes. Goals included:

  • Understanding the problem across the continuum
  • Advising the ACGME Board on how it can be an effective agent of transformational change
  • Beginning a national dialogue that leads to change in the culture of the clinical learning environment
  • Beginning ongoing collaborations with other organizations to better the well-being of health care professionals

The results of this symposium identified key areas of impact, including educating stakeholders to disseminate information and build awareness, and using ACGME resources, research, and partnerships to effect large-scale cultural change. A second symposium is planned for the fall of 2016.

Building Momentum: 2016 Annual Educational Conference

Multiple sessions at the 2016 Annual Educational Conference focused on well-being in the learning environment. “Changing the Culture of Medicine: Promoting Resilience and Well-Being” focused on the increased imperative to improve physician well-being, and summarized the 2015 Symposium. “Resident Wellness: Surprise… this Really Matters! How Can You Make it Important and Effective in Your Program?” provided designated institutional officials, program directors, and program coordinators with tools and information to start or improve a wellness curriculum. Facilitators reviewed evidence of the impact of enhancing wellness, and highlighted several approaches to wellness education and activities for easy integration into any program. Additional sessions focused on work-life balance and burnout both for faculty members and for residents and fellows.

One of the most well-received sessions on physician well-being was repurposed during the summer of 2016 into a webinar hosted by the ACGME to provide information and resources to institutions and programs across the country. “Combating Burnout, Promoting Physician Well-Being: Building Blocks for a Healthy Learning Environment” allowed participants to work in small groups to develop potential solutions to issues in their own learning environments. Presenters provided structured tools toward completion of a needs assessment to facilitate the development of new initiatives to address resident well-being. For more information on this session and the webinar, see the Webinars section below.


Combating Burnout, Promoting Physician Well-being Building Blocks for a Healthy Learning Environment in GME

In this webinar developed from the popular session at the 2016 Annual Educational Conference, Drs. Carol Bernstein and Lyuba Konopasek provide a hands-on approach on how to conduct a needs assessment for developing a resident well-being plan. This allows designated institutional officials, program directors, and program coordinators to identify stressors and supports, along with curricular innovations, coaching strategies, and faculty development activities to use in the clinical learning environment.

A full-length version of the Combating Burnout, Promoting Physician Well-being: Building Blocks for a Healthy Learning Environment in GME webinar is available in the ACGME’s Bridge learning management system (LMS). The Bridge LMS provides a robust and flexible platform for video and learning resources and a secure and accessible delivery mechanism for members of the GME community. Visit to access ACGME’s Bridge LMS portal and create a user account. Once you have created a user account, go to the Learning Library to access the Combating Burnout, Promoting Physician Well-being: Building Blocks for a Healthy Learning Environment in GME webinar. Note that use of the ACGME’s Bridge LMS is limited to members of the GME community.

Free Registration to View Webinar (presented July 13, 2016)

Webinar Resources

Webinar Slides
Inventory of Elements of Your Institutional Well-Being Plan
Inventory of Element of Your Program’s Well-Being Plan
Short and Long Term Well-Being Action Plan Items
Stressors and Supports Exercise

Partner Resources

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
Mental Health Awareness in Osteopathic Medical Education

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Well-being in Academic Medicine

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Physician and Medical Student Depression and Suicide Prevention

American Hospital Association (AHA)
The Impact of Emotional Intelligence and Resiliency on Health Care Performance
Forum Focus – Recognizing and Addressing Physician Stress and Burnout to Improve Satisfaction and Patient Care

Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC)
2017 Annual Meeting focusing on resiliency and well-being

American Medical Association (AMA)
Physician Health
5 things institutions can do to prevent resident burnout
Articles on physician wellness in AMA Wire
“Steps Forward” CME modules
Physician wellness: preventing resident and fellow burnout
Preventing physician burnout
Improving physician resiliency

American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
Watch: Medical students discuss mental illness

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
Mental Health

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

Contact Us
For questions about the ACGME’s Physician Well-Being Initiative, or to submit tools and resources for consideration for the website, e-mail

Visit the JGME website for the latest research in graduate medical education.

For articles concerning physician well-being, click here.

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