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County Medical Societies Stepping Up to Address Physician Wellness

Fraser Cobbe

Orange County Medical Society

Seminole County Medical Society

Recognizing the unique role we play in medical communities across the State, the OCMS, SCMS and a number of other County Medical Societies are blazing a path towards the development of Physician Wellness Programs in 2017. Modeled after programs developed in several other counties nationally, the initiatives are designed to provide coaching and early action to support physicians that are experiencing burnout.

On Friday, December 2, four members of the Conference of Florida Medical Society Executives attended the Florida Board of Medicine Meeting in Orlando to present the plans for Physician Wellness Programs in nine Florida counties in 2017. Present at the meeting were Bryan Campbell, Duval County; Fraser Cobbe, Orange & Seminole County; April Donahue, Collier County; and Julie Ramirez, Lee County. They were joined by the President of the Lee County Medical Society, Shari Skinner, M.D.

The Board invited Mr. Campbell to speak on behalf of the Duval County Medical Society and the others in attendance. He presented a letter on behalf of the nine counties planning on implementing the program. He also described the well documented-need for addressing physician burnout, how it will work, and the plan for implementation.

Dr. Skinner then shared her very personal experience about the loss of a colleague who might have been saved if this program had been implemented in her county. She connected on a professional level with the physicians to reiterate the need for this program.

The response from the Board of Medicine was very positive and has encouraged the County Societies to move forward with implementation.

Locally, both the Orange and Seminole County Medical Societies will have exploratory meetings over the coming months to discuss implementation of our program. Given there is a clear alignment between our Mission Statements and the goals of the Wellness Program, we look forward to an effective implementation of the initiative in the New Year. We feel strongly that this is an important way that our organizations can offer support to our physicians and their families.

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