Physician Health and Wellness Challenge Winners Highlight Workforce Wellness

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Five posters summarizing unique wellness initiatives undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic took top honors at the 2021 Physician Health and Wellness (PHW) poster session. The posters were presented as part of the virtual PHW Health and Wellness Exchange last fall, hosted by the Texas Medical Association in collaboration with the Travis County Medical Society.

The winning posters were:

  • Most original – Baylor College of Medicine’s COVID-19 Support Task Force: How the Community and Baylor Came Together to Care for Frontline Workers During the Pandemic, presented by Peggy H. Yang, PhD; Jesse Gavin; Katherine Holtman; and Toi Harris, MD. The task force developed a structured program to support the health and safety of frontline workers and decrease burnout, including sleeping accommodations after exhausting shifts, delivered meals, and a gratitude challenge. The presenters concluded the empathy and kindness shown to frontline workers by team members, collaborators, and donors was the best outcome, plus greater connectedness among task force members.  
  • Most engaging – The Effects of COVID-19 on Orthopedic Surgery: Training Programs in the United States, presented by Shivan N. Chokshi; Tsola Efejuku; Jie Chen, MD; Daniel Jupiter, PhD; Jeremy Sommerson, MD; and Vinod K. Panchbhavi, MD, from The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine. The poster explored the impact of COVID-19 on orthopedic surgery trainees. The presenters found socialization with co-residents, friends, and family was significantly impacted, along with academic and research activities, with the transition from in-person to online platforms. Clinical experiences were less impacted. The presenters called for development of more support systems for trainees. 
  • Most adaptable and multimodal – Supporting the People Who Support the Mission: The Interactive Screening Program Launch at UT Southwestern, presented by Susan A. Matulevicius, MD; Jaime Harry, LCSW; Sean Mayberry, LPC; Laquita Cooper, LCSW; and Julian Longoria, MBA, from UT Southwestern. To help alleviate high levels of distress, the screening program confidentially and anonymously connected members of the workforce to available mental health resources through a customized website. The presenters concluded the program helped open conversations about mental health, engaged leaders in supporting the mental well-being of faculty and staff, and provided a low-cost tool to offer mental health services.
  • Best e-poster – Working Parents and Perceived Stress: The Intersectionality of Parenting and Gender with Wellness During the COVID Pandemic in Academic Faculty, presented by Dr. Matulevicius; Kimberly Kho, MD, MPH, MSCS; Joan Reisch, PhD; and Helen Yin, PhD, at UT Southwestern. 

The poster highlighted how COVID-19 heightened health care workers’ burnout and distress, particularly for working parents, and especially working mothers, trying to balance work and home life. Presenters concluded the pandemic increased the desires of faculty, particularly women and parents, to consider leaving their positions or reducing their work hours, and to turn down leadership opportunities. 

  • Best demonstration – BCM’s [Baylor College of Medicine’s] Wellness 5K Over the Years: Continuity of Health and Wellness Initiatives During a Global Pandemic presented by Brianna Etoria, MBA, MA, and Suzette Roldan from Baylor. The poster reviewed the impact of organizational and community circumstances on the annual 5K, established in 2012 to raise awareness of and funds to support wellness issues for medical students. The presenters concluded historical data and information can improve future marketing strategies and stakeholder collaboration, and creation of an event guidebook can assist future coordinators.

Each of the winning posters received a $500 prize.

TMA offers a variety of health and wellness resources for physicians, including CME and financial assistance for treatment of conditions that impair a physician’s ability to practice safely. Wellness CME, eligible for ethics credit, is available at no cost to TMA members, compliments of TMA Insurance Trust.  

Last Updated On

January 11, 2022

Originally Published On

January 10, 2022

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