1st Edition

Safeguarding Physician Wellbeing Using Checklists for Personal, Professional, and Psychological Safety

By Julie L. Wei Copyright 2024
    158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    The United States is facing a worsening epidemic of physician burnout with unprecedented numbers of them leaving the workforce and practice of clinical medicine across all career stages. The prevalence of physician burnout has accelerated through COVID-19, resulting in an anticipated serious national shortage of physicians within the current decade amidst an increased proportion of aging and unhealthy population.

    The critical shortage of physicians coupled with an unhealthy physician workforce results in longer wait times for access, continued increased healthcare costs, decreased quality of care, and worsening patient experience.

    Despite increasing media coverage, published data, and identification of system-based factors that erode physician wellbeing, no standardized systematic solution has been implemented across hospitals, health systems, or a variety of employment models or practice settings for any or all doctors regardless of whether they are primary care, medical, or surgical subspecialists.

    Effective solutions to mitigate physician burnout, protect current working physicians, and keep them from leaving medicine require a SHIFT and a more individualized approach. Many proposed academic models address system-based factors, but such solutions depend greatly on those who employ doctors. Executive leadership in charge of healthcare systems are often challenged by physician burnout and their desired autonomy, against the need for standardization of care delivery to improve quality and decrease cost. Physician productivity measures continue to be based on data samples of physician compensation surveys supplied by companies like Sullivan Cotter or Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). Such benchmarks are commonly used but data may not reflect specific realities for any organizations nor the rapid changes in the landscape of US healthcare amidst mergers, acquisitions, consolidation, and shifts in employment models from insurance and online retail giants and private equity.

    This book uses a "checklist" approach to empower any medical student, resident, fellow, or practicing physician to create and experience psychological, personal, and professional safety and wellbeing. Not only can individual physicians choose and use these checklists themselves, but those who live with, love, and cherish one or more physicians in their families and/or lives can use this book to understand physician realities and their risks.








    Chapter One: My Journey                                                                                                       


    Chapter Two: Physician Safety                                                                                               


    Chapter Three: Data on Physician Burnout and WHY                                                           


    Chapter Four: Checklists for Professional Protection                                                            


    Chapter Five: Coaching for Physicians (by Physicians and Non-Physicians)                          


    Chapter Six: Checklists for Work-Life Integration and Personal Safety                                  


    Chapter Seven: Checklists for Financial Wellbeing and Safety                                              


    Chapter Eight: Mental Health Checklists                                                                               


    Chapter Nine: Checklists for Better Relationships                                                                 


    Chapter Ten: Checklists for Career Longevity                                                                        

    Chapter Eleven: Checklists for Ergonomics, Disability, and Recovery                                  

    Chapter Twelve: Delaying Pregnancy, Miscarriages, and Infertility                                     

    Chapter Thirteen: How to “Off-Ramp”, “On-Ramp”, or Exit Your Clinical Career Safely     

    Chapter Fourteen: What Hospitals, Health Systems, Institutions Can Do to Ensure            

                                      Healthy Physician Workforce.

    Chapter Fifteen: Checklists for Optimal Future of U.S. Healthcare                                       






    Julie L. Wei, MD MMM, is a Pediatric Otolaryngologist and new Division Director, the Dr. Alfred J. Magoline Chair of Otolaryngology, at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron Ohio. She is also a Professor of Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and faculty in the ENT Division at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

    Dr. Wei obtained her medical degree from New York Medical College,  ENT residency training at Mayo Clinic Rochester, fellowship training at the now Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She completed her master’s in medical management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy in May 2023. In addition to serving as division chief,  Dr. Wei has also served as  Surgeon-in-Chief, Director, GME Wellbeing Initiative, Chair of Medical Staff Health & Wellness Committee at Nemours Children’s Hospital Orlando, and as Chair of Otolaryngology Education and Advisor for Association of Women Surgeons at University of Central Florida College of Medicine for the past near decade. She is the immediate past president of American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology and past president of Society of Ear, Nose, Throat Advances for Children. She is author of “A Healthier Wei”, and co-author of “Acid Reflux in Children”, and TEDx speaker on “The Milk and Cookie Disease”. She has published over 48 peer-reviewed articles, 13 invited articles, 12 book chapters.

    “Dr. Wei masterfully confronts the overlooked crisis of physician burnout with a practical approach for reclaiming wellbeing. This is more than a book, it’s a movement that transforms a daunting and complex challenge into actionable steps ensuring the wellbeing of healthcare's most vital resource: its physicians.”

     -        Kari Granger, CEO of The Granger Network, Executive Advisory

      “This book is long overdue and no one is better qualified to write than Julie. As an exemplar physician and surgeon, she hits the mark with brilliance.”

     -        Jim Loehr, EdD, Renowned Performance Psychologist and Co-Founder of the Human Performance Institute.

     “Dr. Julie Wei is a champion. Her commitment to the wellbeing of others knows no bounds. This is the ultimate playbook for physicians and those in training to “win” and achieve incredible wellbeing in their life and careers”.

     -        Lou Holtz, Legendary Hall of Fame football coach, motivational speaker, author, TV analyst, and philanthropist.

     “Dr. Julie Wei is an important and brilliant and compassionate physician voice.   We encourage everyone to read this book.”

     -        Scott Becker, Becker’s Healthcare

     “Are you one of the many physicians I know who are annoyed by admonitions from others to become more resilient? Truth be told, the physicians I know are already the most resilient professionals I know! If you are committed to your own well-being (as are most resilient persons), then Julie Wei's Safeguarding Physician Wellbeing: A checklist approach to achieve personal, professional, and psychological safety” is for you. Checklists used in clinical practice have been systematically developed based on best evidence and consensus. They are familiar tools in clinical practice. Dr. Wei developed this approach to offer physicians standardized and achievable solutions in a set of checklists designed to mitigate physician burnout and increase physician well-being. If you are a medical student, resident, or fellow, these checklists will be invaluable as you launch your career as a physician. Dr. Wei shares many of her own experiences that bring to life the need for a more systematic approach for fostering personal, professional, and psychological safety.”

    -        R. Kevin Grigsby, Co-author: Grigsby RK, Mallon WT. Thriving: New perspectives and approaches for personal and organizational success. AAMC Successful Medical School Department Chairs Series. Washington, DC: AAMC, 2020.


    "Dr. Wei has provided us with practical and meaningful strategies to approach these important issues. This book itself warrants its own place on a very important checklist!”

    -        Jennifer Shin, M.D. S.M., Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Office for Faculty Affairs, Harvard Medical School


    “This is a must-read for all physicians in today’s environment of production pressure, burnout and disengagement.  Dr. Wei’s journey is a familiar one for all of us and her heartfelt advice and her willingness to be vulnerable and share her personal battles is truly touching and valuable.”


    -        Butch Uejima, MD, MMM, FAAP, CPHRM, VP, Chief Medical Officer & Chair Dept of Pediatric Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Nemours Children's Health, Delaware Valley