American Medical Association Encourages Use of Peer Support Groups

Med Page Today

CHICAGO — Physician wellness programs will be encouraged to consider developing peer support groups, following a new policy passed during the AMA’s House of Delegates meeting that concluded this week.

Such groups should be “voluntary, confidential, and non-discoverable.”

The policy also called for the AMA in collaborating with other interested groups to encourage study in any future surveys of the prevalence and potential impact of the “second victim phenomenon.”

“We’re not asking for major legislation or a lot of money here,” said Albert Hsu, MD, an American Society for Reproductive Medicine delegate and the author of the resolution, which he brought forward on behalf of the Young Physicians Section.

“We’re asking for local physician wellness programs, whether it’s at an institution or state or county-based, to consider having peer support groups … because we do know it’s an important part of [preventing] burnout,” he told MedPage Today.