The Virginia Mason Memorial Provider Wellness Program to enhance the well-being of physicians and those they serve.
The Practitioner Wellness Committee
Supporting practitioner health
- 60% of practicing practitioners will experience burnout at some point in their careers.
- 5% of practitioners are impaired by substance abuse.
- The suicide rate among female doctors is 130% higher than among women in general.
- Promote practitioner personal and professional well-being on all levels.
- Foster an all-encompassing culture of mutual concern, safety, professionalism and confidentiality.
- Improve the work environment, improve the level of care for patients and create more satisfying personal relationships.
If you or a colleague is struggling, we are here to help. The PWC is a confidential program to support and advocate for you. Within this program the practitioner will be channeled to appropriate resources designed to help with his/her specific concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What kinds of problems are appropriate to bring to the PWC?
A. Anything that affects your ability to stay well emotionally as a provider in our hospital. Common issues include substance abuse, divorce, depression, transition to retirement, sleep deprivation, major illness and sexual boundaries.
Q. What happens after I call?
A. You will have an anonymous conversation with the committee member you have chosen to call. You will be given direction to appropriate resources, if needed.
Q. If I self-refer, will I be reported to the Medical Executive Committee or to the Medical Board?
A. No. This is a voluntary, confidential program. The conversation is confidential. If you self-refer, no on outside of the committee will be aware of your contact.
Q. What if an administrator of the hospital referred me to the PWC?
A. If you were referred by administration, only the fact that you contacted the committee, but no details, will be provided to the referring administrator.
Q. What if I believe a member of the medical staff is impaired by drug or alcohol use?
A. You are urged to call the Practitioner Wellness Committee or the Washington Physicians Health Program at 800-552-7236. The contact is anonymous.
Q. Will this put the impaired practitioner’s license in jeopardy?
A. No, it will not.
The Washington Physicians Health Program is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 1986. It is a physician-led program with an experienced staff dedicated to helping healthcare professionals while promoting patient safety.
WPHP assists healthcare professionals with medical conditions that may affect their ability to practice medicine safely. These conditions include substance use and behavioral health disorders, as well as physical and cognitive disorders. WPHP is a confidential resource to the maximum extent provided by law.
When there are concerns about impairment, expert assessment and monitoring programs provide the basis upon which WPHP advocates for healthcare professionals so that they can return to work. WPHP provides referrals for additional evaluation or treatment as needed.
WPHP also offers wellness programs for healthcare professionals looking to improve their own stress-resilience and quality of life. It also has an outreach program to educate the medical community about topics in physician health.
Confidential referrals may be made to:
Washington Physicians Health Program
720 Olive Way, Suite 1010, Seattle, 98101
Reaching out to the Practitioner Wellness Committee
Members of the Virginia Mason Memorial Medical and Allied Health Staff can reach out to the Practitioner Wellness Committee by contacting members of the committee directly.
Below are anonymous online self-test sites:
Altruism Quiz - Greater Good Science Center
Anxiety screen - Mental Health America
Anyone can experience depression, including physicians,and especially in medical training. Rate yourself with this Depression screen. See Get Help section if you'd like to talk with someone.
How well do you read other people? Quiz from Greater Good Science Center
Also from the Greater Good Science Center, try this empathy quiz.
This PTSD Screen from the PTSD Association of Canada
Relationship Trust Quiz - Greater Good Science Center
Perfectionistic? Hard on yourself? Rate your level of self-compassion from the website of Kristin Neff, PhD, creator of the validated self-compassion scale.
Sleepiness Scale - Epworth Scale.
Evaluate your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors concerning alcohol use - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse
Quiz - Canadian Mental Health Association
Find more information and resources on Work-Life Balance - Stanford Medicine