Introducing the AAP RFC Well-Being Sub-Committee
by Allison Schroeder, MD
Burnout is increasingly being recognized as affecting physicians and their patients, with over 50% of attending physicians registered through ABPM&R reporting symptoms of burnout . Although definitions of burnout vary, they commonly include 3 things:
- Emotional exhaustion
- Lack of feelings of accomplishment
Previously, studies were mostly reporting on the prevalence of burnout, but recent studies, including that by Sliwa et al. have shifted to determining factors that contribute to burnout, which include increasing regulatory demands, workload and job demands, and practice inefficiency and lack of resources . Now that some potential contributors to burnout have been identified, the next step is to determine how we can combat them.
Although there has not been a similar study to evaluate burnout in PM&R resident physicians, many residents recognize this as a problem. To help combat burnout and to emphasize resident well-being, the AAP RFC added a new position: the Education/Well-being Representative. This was the most sought-after position on the RFC with the highest number of applicants. Given the great talent and ideas of the applicants, the RFC decided to create a Well-Being Subcommittee.
The AAP RFC Well-Being Subcommittee’s goal is to provide information and resources to support PM&R physician wellness on a national level so that we can encourage and inspire each other to practice physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness.
Meet the team
I’m Allison Schroeder, a PGY-4 Chief Resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) where I also serve on the UPMC GME Wellness, Environment, Learning, and Living (WELL) committee and am co-chair of the UPMC PM&R resident wellness committee. My interest in well-being started at a young age when my dad would remind her to always “keep a positive, happy attitude” and I continue to value grit, resilience, and positivity. I enjoy running and spending time outdoors to maintain balance and for stress relief.
Mona Ahmed is a PGY-3 resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is the social chair of the UAB PM&R resident wellness committee and also serves on the UAB GME Wellness Subcommittee. Mona’s long term goal is to increase resident wellness by identifying and tackling systemic issues contributing to burnout. When she’s feeling down, Mona enjoys a game of racquetball, a good cheeseburger, and some sun.
Tracey Isidro is a PGY-3 at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) where she is part of the inaugural BCM Wellness Committee. She is very passionate about wellness, and has written and spoken nationally on topics like how to be happy and healthy in medical school, lessons from intern year, wellness tips for busy individuals, how to be your best: tips on how to be successful, and spirituality and compassion in the patient-physician relationship. Outside of residency, she enjoys spending time with her family (Dad, Mom, twin sister Stacey, brother Ace, and three rescue dogs), salsa dancing, and composing piano music.
Olga Komargodski is a PGY-3 at Stony Brook University Hospital where she serves as the Patient Safety Resident. She has become interested in well-being while trying to do her best with both Residency and motherhood. Olga’s favorite hobby is writing fantasy novels, which are published in the Russian language.
Rosa Pasculli is a PGY-3 resident at NYU Rusk and co-chair of the NYU Physician Wellness Committee. Her main wellness interests are fitness and nutrition; she is a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and taught group fitness classes prior to starting residency. She loves trying new workout classes around Manhattan (favorites: 305 Fitness and Fhitting Room) and experimenting with paleo recipes.
Jasmine Harris is a PGY-4 at the Icahn SOM at Mount Sinai in New York. She is also a certified Integrative Health and Wellness coach. Her passion for well-being developed when she discovered yoga and meditative practices as a way to readily cope with the rigor and stress of medical training. In her spare time, she enjoys bringing nature indoors by caring for her more than 70 houseplants.
We are planning to provide information and resources to help improve overall well-being which will be available online and published on the AAP website. Please check out the AAP “Words of Wellness” at https://www.physiatry.org/page/PhysicianWellness. More content on this website will be coming soon! If your residency program has wellness initiative in place that you would like to have featured on our website and shared with other programs around the country, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sliwa JA, Clark GS, Chiodo et al. Burnout in diplomates of the american board of physical medicine and rehabilitation-prevalence and potential drivers: a prospective cross-sectional survey. PM R. 2019 Jan;11(1):83–89.