HealthDay News – In response to increasing rates of burnout among physicians, a model was proposed by the Mayo clinic aiming to raise camaraderie and increase collaboration between colleagues, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).1

The model was developed focusing on physician engagement as a strategy to reduce burnout and involve physicians in their organizations’ mission. This comes on the heels of a study showing that in the United States physician burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance worsened from 2011 to 2014.2  The model established a formal forum to listen to physicians, where they discussed top pain points in a psychologically safe setting.

The Listen-Act-Develop model considers three factors that physicians need to flourish: choice, social connectedness, and excellence. Physicians want to have some control over their lives; flexibility and control should be increased for physicians by treating them as architects in the design of their care delivery models. 

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Taking the time to socialize with team members and colleagues can improve psychological well-being and foster collaboration. Finally, organization leaders should establish constructive relationships with physicians and create partnerships to meet the needs of patients.

“Response [from physicians] was positive and hopeful,” said Stephen Swenson, MD, medical director of the Office of Leadership and Organization Development at the Mayo Clinic, according to the AMA. “It is critical, once expectations are raised with a survey or focus group, to really and authentically follow through. Otherwise, [it] could actually make the situation worse.”

Summary and Clinical Applicability

Burnout rates are increasing across multiple medical subspecialties2, underscoring the need for physician-driven solutions that foster wellness among physicians.

“It is notable that the increase in burnout and decrease in satisfaction with work-life balance in physicians over the last three years runs counter to trends in the general U.S. working population over the same interval,” authors of a Mayo Clinic study on physician burnout noted.2


1. Parks T. How the Mayo Clinic is Battling Burnout. AMA Wire. Published March 9, 2016. Accessed March 17, 2016. Source Code

2. Shanafelt TD, Hasan O, Dyrbye LN, et al. Changes in Burnout and Satisfaction With Work-Life Balance in Physicians and the General US Working Population Between 2011 and 2014. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015;90(12):1600-13.