Difficult events happen to all physicians at some point in their careers. Stressful events include involvement in a difficult event, caring for trauma victims, facing the illness/ death of a colleague, or confronting potential litigation. These events can lead to a variety of negative emotional consequences, including a sense of isolation, self-doubt, depression, rumination, and anxiety. It is important physicians don’t feel alone under these circumstances. Yet, research shows physicians generally do not acknowledge or openly discuss their personal reactions to these events. If not attended to, these emotional reactions can lead to burnout and further distress. Studies have shown that talking to a trained peer facilitates coping and resilience after an adverse event. In response to this research, in 2018 the SHCP Physician Peer Support Program was created.
What are physicians saying about peer support programs?
“Just having someone neutral check in specifically about my well-being was comforting. I felt incredibly supported and it was nice that there were not secondary motives behind the support (i.e. data gathering about the incident, etc.).”
“Thank you for taking time to talk to me, it made things much clearer. Thank you also for the additional resources you sent so promptly.”
“Great addition for our physicians, as we often feel the need to sort through these issues alone.”