Just this past week, the Washington Post featured an article written by author Brigid Shulte on an innovative program being launched at Stanford to help emergency medicine physicians lead more balanced lives. This program allows physicians to “bank” the non-clinical hours they spend on teaching, mentoring, committee meetings, and other academic and administrative duties. They can then use these credits toward meal delivery, home cleaning services, dry-cleaning pick-up, and a host of other work- or home-related services.
Most wellness initiatives across the country have thus far focused primarily on medical students, including well-known programs at Vanderbilt and Brown University. Far fewer have targeted attending physicians, despite the fact that burnout rates continue to be high well past residency. In addition to helping to mitigate factors contributing to physician burnout, programs like the one at Stanford may have the additional effect of helping to retain and promote more female physicians in academic medicine. Several studies have shown that women feel the strain of balancing the competing demands of home and work more than their male counterparts.
Following implementation of the time-banking program, the department saw a substantial increase in the number of research projects and grants awarded to their faculty. With more time saved, their faculty were happier, more balanced, and more productive.
Now who doesn’t want that?
Read the full article on the Washington Post website here.