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Background: Prevalence of burnout among physicians is a critical issue impacting all career levels. Identifying burnout begins in medical training with trainees and early career physicians at risk for depression and burnout1. Participation in wellness programs may mitigate burnout perhaps during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online physician wellness activities i.e., coaching and training are offered at a free-standing children’s hospital in the Midwest USA. These programs are well received, but there is no specific curriculum addressing physicians’ wellness needs within the Division of General Academic Pediatrics (GAP). In designing a meaningful program, we conducted a needs assessment survey to gauge GAP physicians’ current involvement in wellness activities and participation challenges.

Objective: To determine a framework and core curriculum leading to the development and implementation of an impactful wellness curriculum for GAP physicians.

Design/Methods: This survey study used a discrepancy-based needs assessment approach to obtain data from GAP physicians at Children’s Mercy Kansas City (CMHK) about their wellness activities. We developed a survey with sections about wellness activities (7 items) and demographic information (6 items). We piloted the survey with 16 academic pediatricians outside the Division to assess the items’ clarity. The survey was put on REDCap and sent to GAP physicians with 6 reminders sent between July-October 2020. Descriptive statistics: frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations were used to analyze the data. We obtained Institutional Review Board approval from CMHK.

Results: Of 46 GAP physicians surveyed, 24 (52%) completed the survey. Twenty-one (87.5%) physicians participated in weekly wellness activities with 13 (54%) participating more than three times weekly. Barriers to participation included time (96%), clinical duties (91%) and personal responsibilities (81%). GAP physicians preferred wellness activities such as mindful thinking (81%), meditation breaks (70%), microlearning with mobile devices (68%) and mid-day fitness activities (65%).

Conclusion(s): Our study results provided useful information about desired wellness activities and potential barriers that may affect GAP physicians. We plan to use these findings when designing wellness curriculum in the context of instructional design and content selections.

Presented at the 2021 PAS Virtual Conference


Medical Education

Physicians’ Burnout: A First Step to Development of a Wellness Curriculum