Commitment to Physician Well-Being

The mission of Mayo Clinic is to inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research. Supporting the well-being of all members of the health care team is foundational to our success and necessary to meeting patient needs.

Performance measurement, electronic health records, regulatory requirements and complexity of medical care are contributing to a high prevalence of physician burnout and threatening our collective goal of higher quality, more affordable care and a healthier population. Physicians with burnout are more likely to have alcohol dependence and thoughts of suicide. They are also more likely to commit medical errors, be involved in medical malpractice litigation suits, work on teams with higher inpatient mortality ratios, have lower medical knowledge and productivity, behave unprofessionally, change jobs, and leave medicine altogether.

Physician burnout costs between $3 and $4 billion a year in the U.S. There is a moral imperative as well as a patient safety, quality, and business case to take steps locally and to advocate nationally for change.

Mayo Clinic is deeply committed to addressing burnout among physicians and other health care professionals. The program's multipronged approach includes:

  • Regularly measure well-being using validated instruments with national benchmarks. As results are a barometer of organizational health, findings are reported to the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors and Board of Trustees. Results are analyzed by work group, and health care professionals with burnout rates higher than the national average and low satisfaction scores are targeted for local intervention.
  • Improve practice efficiency. The program is aggressively working to maximize physician efficiency and minimize clerical burden through practice redesign.
  • Invest in leadership development. All leaders undergo regular leadership development and are held accountable for their areas' leadership scores using a scale that predicts physician burnout and job satisfaction within the work unit.
  • Optimize career fit. The group takes steps to ensure physicians are engaged in the activities they find most personally meaningful for at least 20% of their work efforts, as doing so lowers the risk of burnout.
  • Cultivate community at work. Physician lounges and social events are provided to bring physicians together in self-formed groups to discuss common issues and build social support through COMPASS groups, which randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown improve burnout and job satisfaction.
  • Provide resources to promote well-being. All employees have access to the Well-Being Index, a validated tool for self-calibration, resources to promote self-care and training in skills that promote resilience.
  • Facilitate organizational science. The Program on Physician Well-Being has established new metrics and national benchmarks and has conducted intervention studies that have led to tangible changes locally and elsewhere.
  • Advocate for regulatory reform. Mayo Clinic advocates for health care regulatory reform with members of Congress and presidential administrations.
  • Participate with others to address burnout. Mayo Clinic is committed to participating in the National Academy of Medicine Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, partnering with other stakeholders, and educating others about the importance of reducing burnout and improving well-being of physicians and other health care professionals.

These strategies are essential to ensuring patients receive timely, cost-effective, high quality and compassionate care.