Wellness for the Future: Cultural and Systems-based Challenges and Solutions

Acad Emerg Med. 2020 Apr;27(4):317-332. doi: 10.1111/acem.13937. Epub 2020 Mar 15.


The goal of the 2019 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference was to explore the current cultural and systemic issues in emergency medicine that impact the individual well-being of every emergency physician and to make recommendations for future study. Burnout is epidemic in emergency medicine. Physician wellness is required to enhance patient clinical outcomes as well as to ensure professional satisfaction and longevity. For conference preparation, a consensus steering committee was created, and a decision was made to use the groundbreaking model of the National Academy of Medicine's "Factors Affecting Clinician Well-Being and Resilience" to further identify areas of needed study. On May 14, 2019, the Wellness Consensus Conference was attended by over 50 faculty physicians from across the United States. These attendees discussed key concepts and prior research presented by content experts. Groups of participants engaged in crowdsourcing techniques to consolidate ideas derived from those discussions. These consensus concepts were recorded and are presented within this article. A repetitive theme noted at the conference was the overwhelming effect of the system and organization factors on individual physician well-being. The concept of ongoing assessment of professional fulfillment over the life span of the emergency physician was felt to be crucial in guiding wellness and resilience interventions in a timely manner. Examining ways to enable physicians to flourish rather than experience burnout are strong future directions for study.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Resilience, Psychological
  • United States