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Letter From Chief of Staff: Wellness Task Force

We would like to update you on the progress of our Wellness Task Force launched last year. Our first task was to survey the Medical Staff and measure the current state of wellness of our physicians. The Wellness Questionnaire was a 16-question survey sent to the entire medical staff in January. We received responses from 313 physicians.

Since the survey, we have been analyzing the responses and have summarized our findings below:

  • Our first question asked if physicians were satisfied with their current job, and encouragingly, the majority of respondents strongly agreed that they were satisfied with their current job.
  • Most physicians agree that they feel a great deal of stress from their job—this was true regardless of employment setting (faculty, foundation or private). The majority of physicians noted they are under stress but are not burned out. Interestingly, the physicians who indicated they felt burned out were clustered around two age groups, 25-34 and 55-64.
  • Most surveyed felt that they had marginally sufficient time for documentation, which was especially true in the 35-54 age group.
  • The majority of physicians felt their primary area of work was busy but reasonable to manage, and also felt that their professional values aligned well with the department leaders.
  • Most felt their efficiency in the EMR was good, but few felt it was optimal. Physicians universally agreed that they need better proficiency with EMR.
  • Comments highlighted the need for better communication with leadership, better work/life balance and better access to convenient exercise opportunities, such as a wellness center or gym. Unique to private practitioners was a desire for pooled resources for practice management.
  • The burnout rate at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was 41%, which is better than the burnout rate of 44% quoted nationally in the 2018 Medscape survey.

In response to the survey, our task force has been exploring ways to address the most common issues causing physician dissatisfaction/burnout. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more about our approach to medical staff wellness and the initiatives we have launched to address physician wellness. In the meantime, your thoughts are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monique Araya, MD
Co-chair, Wellness Task Force
Vice Chief of Staff

Karyn Eilber, MD
Co-chair, Wellness Task Force

Clement Yang, MD
Chief of Staff