Why Physician Well-Being Matters Now More Than Ever

A Wake-Up Call for the Healthcare System

Mayo Clinic Proceedings published sobering research this month: the prevalence of physician burnout in late 2021 was a whopping 62.8%, a step-change from a metric that had been steadily declining over the previous 7 years, most recently 38.2% in 2020.

The takeaway is that one-in-five physicians intend to leave their current practice within two years. This reality will have a tremendous impact on the healthcare system.

A System Pushed to its Limit

It’s well known that the COVID-19 pandemic put an extraordinary strain on the healthcare system. PPE shortages, high patient volumes, elevated risk of infection, and innumerable hospitalizations and deaths took a toll on physicians, nurses, and administrative staff.

Some healthcare workers and first responders are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, similar to combat veterans.

The Current Approach isn’t Working

With so many hours spent at work and on-call, day and night, clinicians often take little time to focus on their own well-being. They’re less likely to seek treatment to address mental health issues and burnout because of a survivor mentality and for fear of licensure problems.

Many healthcare organizations acknowledge a responsibility to protect their employees’ physical and mental health and are attempting to add programming and perks to address the problem, with meager results. As Dr. Anthony Orsini put it on a recent podcast, The Orsini Way, “You don’t go for a massage and then miraculously feel better.”

Part of the problem is that organizations lack insight into how clinicians are showing up to work each day — particularly in terms of sleep and mental capacity. This perpetuates a culture of burnout that can lead to errors, along with clinicians who don’t feel supported or understood by their employers.

Imagine, instead, a culture of support, a holistic program to support clinicians, and delivering visibility and insight into what providers need to deliver optimal care.

How WHOOP Unite is Addressing the Physician Burnout Epidemic

WHOOP Unite is a health and wellness solution that improves clinician health and increases engagement, empowering clinicians to perform at their highest level so they can deliver higher-quality care, reduce risk, and achieve better health outcomes.

WHOOP Unite facilitates this by equipping physicians, nurses, administrative staff, and the entire healthcare community with technology, education, and coaching to create a more holistic, supportive, and connected community, where clinicians have a common nomenclature to speak up when they need to take a mental health break. The result is happier, healthier clinicians that are better equipped to tackle challenges at work and at home.

How does it work? An innovative wearable collects individual biometric data and delivers personalized insights and coaching via the WHOOP app. Clinicians can understand how their habits and behaviors impact their bodies, and then take action to make lasting changes to their personal and professional lives. 

Aggregated data at organizational and team levels gives administrators and management analytics and insights to identify issues proactively so leaders can take action. Healthcare organizations use WHOOP Unite to make staffing, training, and load-balancing decisions to optimize readiness and resilience.

And, organizations never have to go it alone. WHOOP Unite’s best-in-class Customer Success Program includes tailored programming and education to meet the needs and goals of each organization. Every subscription includes a dedicated customer success manager and enterprise support 7 days a week.

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