AHA Targets Physician Burnout in Academic CV Medicine

In a new scientific statement, the American Heart Association (AHA) highlights the unique drivers of fatigue in academic cardiovascular medicine physicians and suggests system-wide and personalized interventions to support individual wellness in this setting.

The statement was published online September 19 in the magazine Rotation.

“The future cardiovascular health of Americans depends on a well-trained and experienced medical workforce created through rigorous academic medical training,” the writing group says.

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“Cardiovascular physicians pursuing careers in academic medicine are critical to continuing this mission, which includes providing clinical care for common and increasingly complex diseases, educating and training the next generation of physicians/health care professionals, and pursuing scientific discovery and innovation to treat and treat disease, Elisa Bradley, MD, Penn State Cardiovascular Institute, Hershey, PA, and co-authors wrote.

Due to the multitasking nature of academic medicine, burnout and burnout uniquely threaten academic clinicians in the future and early in their careers, they said.

Drivers of burnout in this setting include productivity-driven compensation models that impose competition for time between clinical care and academics; The requirement for promotion in systems that have not evolved to take into account both clinical and academic expectations; and distinct expectations based on the faculty’s career path, such as grant funding and publications.

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In addition, at early career and Fellowship in Training (FIT) level, burnout drivers also include significant changes in personal and family life, along with long working hours, high clinical and research requirements, as well as financial stresses and educational debts.

corporate responsibility

Many drivers of burnout in academic medicine are external and beyond the control of a single individual. Therefore, proposed solutions should largely be at the level of organizations, institutions and government, says the writing group.

These solutions include appropriate guidance, goal planning, workplace efficiency, time management and time ‘protection’, and manageable schedules.

The writing group says that occupational satisfaction “should be a shared responsibility between the clinician and the institution. Each should adapt their values ​​to find a compromise that meets the needs of both, recognizing that healthcare is both personal and business.”

They add that “interventions to support practice efficiency and a culture of wellness extend to normalization and support flexible work environments to enhance clinical support.”

To promote flexible clinical environments, organizations should consider “floating teams” to provide care to bridge gaps when a physician is not available, share jobs and flexible hours, and telemedicine, the writing group says.

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At the individual level, cardiovascular professionals should build individual strategies to combat fatigue and promote wellness, focusing on self-care and healthy habits (adequate sleep, healthy nutrition, exercise, outside interests, and purposeful social relationships), they advise.

With the help, they concluded, “young academics can look forward to a long and satisfying career in academic cardiovascular medicine.”

This research had no commercial funding. Writing team members p reported no relevant financial relationships.

Rotation. Published online September 19, 2022. Full text

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