Charles Crotteau, MD, has been a family medicine doctor for 20 years. A lot has changed in medicine over that time. Like many physicians, he worries about burnout among his colleagues, or even himself.
“Physician and clinician burnout has been a problem for years that has really been accelerated this year with COVID-19,” Dr. Crotteau explained. “When you go into medicine, you know you’re going to be exposed to certain potential risk or injury, but this pandemic has really felt like a continuous occupational hazard.”
He is so passionate about supporting his fellow clinicians, Dr. Crotteau became chair of the Physician Wellness Committee at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center last year; he also serves on the Physician Wellness Committee at the AAH system level.
“Our committee is in the process of rolling out Ambassadors who will be in the clinical settings to seek out those who are going the extra mile, or to identify colleagues who may be struggling and need more support.”
They have received financial support from the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Staff as well as from the Advocate Charitable Foundation to have a socially distant ice cream social for med staff and residents, to purchase a massage chair for the medical staff lounge, and to educate frontline clinicians on the benefits of transcendental meditation to relieve stress. Dr. Crotteau is grateful to work for a health system that takes the issue seriously and for charitable giving that gives them more tools to make a difference.
As a patient, “when your clinician cares about you, is healthy, and has time to listen to you, it furthers the therapeutic relationship,” Dr. Crotteau explained. “We need our clinicians to be healthy to do the work they need to do. The entire enterprise is safer, the care is better, and the patients come back to their healthy, supported clinicians.”
How you can support clinician and team member wellness
Our team members need your support now more than ever. You can provide emotional and spiritual support services, both virtually and in person to physicians and team members who are impacted by COVID-related stress and trauma. Give now to our COVID-19 Relief Fund for Critical Care.