Positive Connections Physician Integration & Wellbeing Program

Physician burnout is reaching epidemic proportions. It is a complex issue driven by many factors, among which are the increasing pace of change and cost pressures in healthcare, feelings of isolation and a culture of medicine that does not value wellbeing. The costs are substantial in terms of personal suffering, impact on patient care and the financial burdens imposed on the organization. We provide consultation to health systems to improve physician engagement scores, reduce turnover and prevent the loss of physicians due to burnout.

What we do

We work with both individual physicians and organizations.

Our work with individual physicians identifies those things in their personal lives, training experiences and current work environments that are drivers of burnout and other issues. We also aggregate the insights gained through these in-depth coaching and therapeutic encounters into organization-specific recommendations to leadership. Those recommendations are prioritized to offer the best returns-on-investment in reduced turnover and savings in recruitment costs, better patient care and clinical outcomes, and improvements in physician wellbeing and productivity.

We offer the following services to augment internal efforts in development of physician wellbeing programs.

  • Our reports translate quantitative data into actionable information.
  • Qualitative information from individual interactions provides a window into frontline operations for management.
  • Perspective gained through work with multiple health systems provides context to understanding local issues and recommending targeted interventions.
  • We offer 365/24/7 immediate access to our team as well as follow-up telehealth care by psychologists who understand the medical practice environment and the culture of medicine.
  • If practical in terms of client volume and scheduling, and if an appropriate counseling environment is consistently available, self-pay office hours can be routinely scheduled on-site or at a nearby off-site facility for the convenience of the medical staff.
  • All mental health services provided to physicians by the Institute are personally supervised by Dr. Paolini.
  • Our interactive, mobile technology Doc2Doc multichannel program for physician education provides an ongoing stream of “bite-sized” wellbeing educational content interspersed with inspirational messages, and news and clinical information written by physicians for physicians.
  • Weekly one- to three-question polls are designed to engage physicians, as well as monitor the wellbeing of the medical staff populations by collecting aggregated anonymous data.
  • The ongoing awareness and education program stresses both self-care and concern for the mental health of others. The round-the-clock, confidential immediate assess line provides a way for any medical staff member to express concern for the wellbeing of a colleague.
  • Wellbeing consultations can be provided free of charge to medical staff members to encourage wellbeing while providing an avenue of access to resources for physicians at risk for burnout, resulting in reduced turnover and recruiting expense to the health system.
  • Wellbeing program orientation sessions made part of the credentialing and onboarding process are a proven way to encourage self-care while providing an avenue of access to wellbeing resources to newly recruited physicians.
  • Coaching and therapy sessions can be made be available on a free, subsidized or completely self-pay basis to physicians, according to employment status and program parameters. Assessments, coaching and psychotherapy are available through telehealth, when appropriate. (The modality of the assessment and treatment is always determined by circumstances and severity.)
  • An initial therapy or coaching session, in addition to onboarding orientation sessions, can be offered free of charge to physicians, according to employment status and program parameters.
  • On-site monthly or quarterly self-care and personal-growth group sessions designed to provide advanced content to enhance meaning in medicine, while promoting self-care, opportunities for personal insight and personal growth, can be provided as a CME series. The series also fosters development of relational and communication skills (both collegiality and patient communications) and leadership qualities.
  • Intensive day-long sessions or multi-day retreats led by professionals who specialize in working with physicians help medical staff members develop teamwork skills, can build resilience, understand performance improvement methodologies and develop leadership qualities. These can be sponsored, either fully by invitation or partially on a self-pay basis.
  • We recommend deploying a validated wellbeing inventory to provide pre/post measurement of the organizational culture and working environment. The tool for this assessment can also provide self-screening feedback to physicians. We can help in selecting and deploying the appropriate instrument.
  • We can also recommend a 100-percent anonymous, web-based individual self-screening tool for physicians at no cost to the institution. The self-screening tool is web-based and designed to measure burnout, provide valuable resources when people need them the most, and track progress over time to promote self-awareness. It allows individuals to calibrate their wellbeing relative to their professional peers. The assessment takes less than one minute to complete. (We do not recommend deploying this solution other than as part of a more comprehensive program.)

About Dr. Paolini

Dr. Herdley Paolini gained national attention by creating the first-of-its-kind integrative physician wellness program designed to fight physician burnout and foster physician resiliency, well-being and leadership development to support the patient service mission of the organization.

Part of the model is a hospital-based practice exclusively for physicians and their families operating from a holistic perspective. Equally important is a program to influence both individual as well as organizational change through a curriculum of continuing medical education, leadership development, physician-collegiality well-being activities and personal coaching.

Dr. Paolini’s Institute for Physician Integration provides consultation support for physicians – for both their personal well-being and professional development – and for medical staffs and healthcare systems across North and South America.

Dr. Paolini is a licensed psychologist, teacher, and author of Inside the Mind of a Physician, published in 2009 by the Florida Hospital Press. She has 30 years of experience in counseling and psychotherapy.

613 N. Wymore Rd.
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: 407-461-7664
Email: herdleypaolini@physicianintegration.org