Program History

Mayo Clinic is a physician-led organization where physicians are involved at every level of organizational decision-making. Mayo Clinic physicians and scientists have a shared commitment to Mayo Clinic's primary value, "the needs of the patient come first," and to Mayo Clinic's mission and vision.

The commitment to physicians' careers and health and personal well-being is manifested in a multipronged organizational approach. Included are investment in research and faculty development, practice redesign, trip and travel policy and dues, professional dues accounts, and nine organizational strategies to promote physician engagement and reduce burnout.

Mayo Clinic's Department of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, created the Program on Physician Well-Being in June 2007.

The mission of the program is to promote physician well-being through research, education, and development of individual and organizational well-being initiatives that optimize physician satisfaction and performance. Program investigators aim to advance discovery and transform practice to improve the work lives of physicians and in turn the care they provide to patients worldwide.

While its focus has been the promotion of well-being among physicians in the Department of Medicine, from its outset the Program on Physician Well-Being has been a multidisciplinary endeavor drawing on the expertise of members of the Department of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, and Department of Health Sciences Research, as well as Mayo Clinic experts in quality-of-life research.

The Program on Physician Well-Being has been an ambitious undertaking that evaluates the entire spectrum of personal, professional, and organizational factors that influence physician well-being, satisfaction, and productivity.

The purpose of the Program on Physician Well-Being is to frame and test hypotheses of specific organizational and personal characteristics and interventions that can be modified to help physicians thrive. Effective interventions are then implemented by department leadership in accord with strategic priorities.

These efforts are intended to make the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine a learning organization that cultivates an environment where physicians flourish. It is intended that these efforts would allow staff members to view their work not only as a place of energy expenditure but also as a source of energy renewal.

The program's central aim is to provide the evidence base for Mayo leaders to make strategic decisions and efficiently allocate resources to optimize physician well-being and performance.