Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Submit an abstract for the International Conference on Physician Health

This year, the theme for the International Conference on Physician Health is "Increasing Joy in Medicine." There's an opportunity to submit an abstract for the conference.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts for consideration as part of the 2016 ICPH. Seeking abstracts that identify solutions for increasing joy in medicine. Interested in abstracts that deal with issues relating to the personal and professional ways that physicians are increasing joy in medicine—from medical school through retirement—and the effect of these practices on physicians’ health, including both physical and psychological aspects of wellness. Relevant submissions dealing with any aspect of physicians’ health and well-being are also welcome.

Learn more and submit an abstract here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Depression among medical residents - JAMA 2015 study

Physicians know that residency can be grueling and can lead to depressive thoughts. What is the prevalence of depression vs. depressive symptoms? This question was recently answered by the Dec 8, 2015 JAMA article titled, "Prevalence of Depression and Depressive Symptoms Among Resident Physicians: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." There was also a corresponding editorial on JAMA titled, "Resident Depression: The Tip of a Graduate Medical Education Iceberg."

Here is the abstract from the 2015 systemic review:

Importance:  Physicians in training are at high risk for depression. However, the estimated prevalence of this disorder varies substantially between studies.

Objective:  To provide a summary estimate of depression or depressive symptom prevalence among resident physicians.

Data Sources and Study Selection:  Systematic search of EMBASE, ERIC, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO for studies with information on the prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms among resident physicians published between January 1963 and September 2015. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they were published in the peer-reviewed literature and used a validated method to assess for depression or depressive symptoms.

Data Extraction and Synthesis:  Information on study characteristics and depression or depressive symptom prevalence was extracted independently by 2 trained investigators. Estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Differences by study-level characteristics were estimated using meta-regression.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Point or period prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms as assessed by structured interview or validated questionnaire.

Results:  Data were extracted from 31 cross-sectional studies (9447 individuals) and 23 longitudinal studies (8113 individuals). Three studies used clinical interviews and 51 used self-report instruments. The overall pooled prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms was 28.8% (4969/17 560 individuals, 95% CI, 25.3%-32.5%), with high between-study heterogeneity (Q = 1247, τ2 = 0.39, I2 = 95.8%, P < .001). Prevalence estimates ranged from 20.9% for the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire with a cutoff of 10 or more (741/3577 individuals, 95% CI, 17.5%-24.7%, Q = 14.4, τ2 = 0.04, I2 = 79.2%) to 43.2% for the 2-item PRIME-MD (1349/2891 individuals, 95% CI, 37.6%-49.0%, Q = 45.6, τ2 = 0.09, I2 = 84.6%). There was an increased prevalence with increasing calendar year (slope = 0.5% increase per year, adjusted for assessment modality; 95% CI, 0.03%-0.9%, P = .04). In a secondary analysis of 7 longitudinal studies, the median absolute increase in depressive symptoms with the onset of residency training was 15.8% (range, 0.3%-26.3%; relative risk, 4.5). No statistically significant differences were observed between cross-sectional vs longitudinal studies, studies of only interns vs only upper-level residents, or studies of nonsurgical vs both nonsurgical and surgical residents.

Conclusions and Relevance:  In this systematic review, the summary estimate of the prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms among resident physicians was 28.8%, ranging from 20.9% to 43.2% depending on the instrument used, and increased with calendar year. Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for preventing and treating depression among physicians in training.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The 2014 International Conference on Physician Health (ICPH)

In September, over 300 participants attended the International Conference on Physician Health and discussed career milestones, transitions, and maintaining balance.

Topics included:
  • Personal and Professional Identity
  • Physicians in Distress
  • Cognitive Function
  • Peer Counselling and Mentoring
  • Healthy Doctors: Healthy Patients?
  • Physician Health Services
You can view recorded webcasts from several sessions by visiting the BMA page here.

The International Conference on Physician Health (ICPH) is a collaborative meeting organized by the American Medical Association (AMA), the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and the British Medical Association (BMA). The conference is held every other year and is hosted by one of the founding associations.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Physician burnout article in TIME Magazine

TIME Magazine has an article titled, "Burnout in the Hospital: Why Doctors Are Set Up for Stress." The story talks about how physician burnout can impact the care that patients are receiving.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Physician wellness: The medical and legal shift towards a culture of safety

The Chicago Medical Society has developed an online educational activity titled, "Physician wellness: The medical and legal shift towards a culture of safety."

Physicians are facing greater burdens, pressures and stressors such as malpractice suits, decreased respect from the public, financial concerns, managing more patients, and the need to adapt to technological advances. These burdens take a tremendous toll on a physician’s well-being which can lead to an increased risk of psychiatric disorders, addiction, medical illness and stress-related conditions that can cause disruptions in the work place. This session will address the clinical and legal aspects, including case studies that affect today’s challenging healthcare climate. It will equip physicians with the tools needed to navigate potential legal issues as well as address the shift towards a culture of safety and a physician’s overall well-being.

You can purchase it here.