Ian Weissman, DO, FACR, Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care Outreach Committee and Chair of the ACR Commission on General, Small, Emergency and/or Rural Practice Network Veterans Subcommittee, contributed this post.

The burnout epidemic continues to be a serious threat to clinicians and patients. Burnout is a workplace syndrome that is characterized by high emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization (i.e. cynicism) and a low sense of personal accomplishment from work. Burnout not only impacts clinicians, but may also impact their ability to effectively care for their patients, as noted in Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being Report Release Event - National Academy of Medicine.

The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the effects of burnout for many in the healthcare field. According to the 2021 Medscape Radiologist Lifestyle, Happiness & Burnout Report, nearly 40% of radiologists surveyed said they were either burned out or both burned out and depressed.

Organizations such as the National Academy of Medicine and the ACR have taken clinician burnout seriously. The new ACR Radiology Well-Being Program supports radiologist wellness with various tools and resources to assess ones level of wellness and identify ways to improve one’s well-being over time. The program is free to all ACR members, including residents, fellows and medical students.

As leaders, radiologists are many times the first line of defense against burnout for our teams. We have the ability to provide support for our colleagues. Whether that’s, for example, helping to reduce administrative burdens, enabling technology solutions or creating a positive learning environment. The bottom-line is that we as clinicians need to work together, with our respective organizations, to create a positive work environment by sharing ideas and proposing solutions.

In an additional effort to support wellness in radiology, I’m pleased to share the Call for Well-Being Case Study Ideas. The ACR would like to recognize leaders who make the well-being of their teams a priority in a special series of case studies. If you or your practice manager, department chair or other group leaders has made a change to address or improve wellness, submit your case study at acr.org/WBCaseIdeas.

I hope you’ll join us in continuing the movement to help cultivate a culture of well-being in radiology.

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