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  • Celebrate the Interdependence of the Health Care Team

  • While a problem as complex as physician burnout doesn’t have a single solution, developing a team-based approach to care is one step in the right direction. Recent studies have shown that physicians who work in a system that fosters team-based care are less likely to burnout. The reason is obvious. A good support system allows physicians to spend more of their time on work they find most meaningful, such as patient care and research. And providers who spend more time on patient care are less likely to experience burnout symptoms. Team-based care not only benefits physicians, studies show it also improves patient care.

    During this month in which we celebrate our independence, consider the value of interdependence. Develop your skills as a health care team leader. Health care teams come in a variety of settings, from small, office-based teams of a clinician with one or two assistants to a hospital-based team with a dozen members. But the basic concept is the same: a team of healthcare professionals who work to the top of their license to accomplish the shared goal of taking care of patients.

    Here are some resources that can guide you on your path to becoming an effective healthcare team leader.

    • This article by the National Academy of Medicine describes key features of successful health care teams and recommends strategies to overcome potential barriers to optimal team-based care.
    • This article from the Harvard School of Public Health outlines the key points to consider when transitioning into a leadership role.
    • This article details 9 organizational strategies (PDF) the Mayo Clinic uses to promote physician engagement and reduce burnout. Their advice includes cultivating community at work, judicious use of rewards and incentives and providing resources to promote self-care.
    • Learn how personal attributes − from professionalism to manners to self-awareness − allow leaders to shine. Soft skills, which are often just an important as hard skills, shape leaders and allow them to shine
    • Do you have a personal leadership philosophy? This article challenges readers to think about their leadership philosophy and how to begin the process of becoming the kind of leader you want to be.