About the Program

The Mayo Clinic Program on Physician Well-Being evaluates the entire spectrum of personal, professional and organizational factors influencing physician well-being, satisfaction and productivity, and researches optimal organizational approaches to prevent physician stress and create a positive energy workplace.

The program's leadership team and faculty and staff work together to advance discovery and transform practice to improve the work lives of physicians and in turn improve the care physicians provide to patients worldwide.

Why establish a program on physician well-being at Mayo Clinic?

The creation of the Program on Physician Well-Being emphasizes the important role physicians have in the Mayo Clinic mission.

The daily work of physicians is critical to patient outcomes and cost of care. The health care system in the U.S. is rapidly changing. As the program moves toward aspirational goals of better care, improved health, and lower cost, we need to ensure that physicians are engaged.

The cost of physician burnout adds more than $3.4 billion annually to the U.S. health care system, and within the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic alone it is estimated to cost at least $1.5 to $2.5 million a year in decreased productivity.

The program facilitates evidence-based approaches to inform departmental and institutional well-being initiatives.

What types of research does the program focus on?

Our research focuses on understanding the prevalence, causes and consequences of physician burnout across the career span and on developing scalable, affordable and evidence-based approaches to inform individual and institutional well-being initiatives.

Although the group conducts research on medical students, residents, and medical professionals across a variety of disciplines, its focus is on studying well-being among physicians. In addition, the group prospectively and longitudinally measures different dimensions of well-being, professional satisfaction, and burnout among physicians to identify changes and trends within Mayo Clinic.

Data also are used to evaluate how changes in organizational structure impact the satisfaction and well-being of physicians.

How does the program translate new knowledge into changes for physicians?

One of our primary goals is to develop evidence-based approaches to inform departmental and institutional well-being initiatives.

The program has developed new metrics, established national benchmarks and implemented practice analytics focused on physician well-being. The group also has conducted intervention studies and randomized trials that have resulted in the implementation of several organizational strategies aimed at improving physician well-being. These strategies include:

  • Making physician well-being a routine institutional performance metric with targeted interventions.
  • Monitoring the physician leadership score with tailored coaching for those in need.
  • Cultivating community through COMPASS groups, also known as physician engagement groups.
  • Incorporating discussions of career fit into annual reviews.
  • Providing a validated self-calibration tool with links to resources to promote self-care.