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Brigham and Women’s Hospital to study physician well-being

The research center hopes to understand how to improve physician well-being in order to boost patient care and reduce turnover costs.
By admin
Dec 4, 2023, 10:47 AM

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has launched The Center for Physician Experience and Practice Excellence, a new research initiative aimed at understanding physician well-being and its relation to patient care.  

“We know that physician burnout has consequences for physicians and patients alike. At present, we still have an inadequate understanding of what works to simultaneously enhance physician well-being and advance patient care across multiple types of physicians and practice settings.” said Center Director and Principal Investigator Lisa Rotenstein, MD, MBA in a statement. “Our research will seek to develop a robust evidence base regarding how to improve physician experiences of providing care, drawing upon the insights of physicians practicing in diverse clinical settings across the United States.” 

The Center’s primary goal is to understand and improve the well-being of physicians, acknowledging that their mental and physical health directly influences the quality of patient care. By addressing physician well-being, healthcare organizations can ultimately reduce staff turnover and save money. 

Physician well-being is at an all time low. Six in ten physicians feel persistent feelings of burnout and one in ten physicians thought about or attempted suicide.

A team of Brigham and Women’s Hospital physicians and Harvard Medical School faculty will lead the Center. Lisa Rotenstein, MD, MBA, takes the helm as the Director and Principal Investigator, while David Bates, MD, provides his expertise as a key internal advisor and co-investigator. Joining them are Christine Iannaccone, MPH, as Senior Project Manager, and Michelle Frits as Senior Data Analyst. The team plans to collaborate with health systems and experts nationwide to identify causes and solutions for physician burnout. 

Dr. Rotenstein, known for her research on physician and trainee mental health, has been instrumental in raising awareness about the prevalence of depression and burnout among medical students and physicians. Her work has been pivotal in sparking initiatives to mitigate this public health crisis. Additionally, she has extensively researched gender disparities in medicine, the effects of electronic health records on clinicians, and the optimization of outpatient care delivery. 

The Center will open with the help of a $1 million grant from The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting physicians.  

“Physician well-being remains an important focus for The Physicians Foundation, especially as we see the tremendous stress the current state of our country and healthcare system has put on our physicians,” said Gary Price, MD, President of The Physicians Foundation. “Our nation’s physicians, residents and medical students are in need of systemic change to help improve the future of medicine. We are thrilled to collaborate with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to help deliver evidence-based solutions to improve physician wellbeing for current and future physicians, ultimately benefiting patients everywhere.” 

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