The APSA Well-Being Committee supports pediatric surgeon well-being to ensure the best care possible for children.
The mission of the committee is to save lifetimes by supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual health of pediatric surgeons.
We accomplish this mission by:
- Encouraging awareness, promoting innovation and supporting surgeon self-care.
- Disseminating up-to-date continuing education on surgeon wellness, recovery from injury and moral distress.
- Supporting systems for community and peer support among pediatric surgeons with specific emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusiveness and justice.
- Performing research to determine and then disseminate evidence-based solutions to improve surgeon well-being.
- Lead the way for other specialties by example as we create and sustain support for pediatric surgeons throughout the continuum of their careers.
Mary Brandt recently gave a talk on moral injury to the American College of Surgeons Leadership Summit. View the video here.
A message from the APSA president
We trust that the summer weather and the emergence from the pandemic that vaccination has afforded in our families, workplaces and communities is allowing you to return to a greater sense of normalcy and wholeness. However, for some the last 14 to 16 months may have taken a lingering toll on our identities, purpose and resilience. From a loss of energy and enthusiasm to moral injury to clinical depression, some of us may be suffering in perceived isolation. We recognize that these are often very private issues. We would first encourage all to consider boldly reaching out to your friends, families and professionals for needed personal support and/or medical care. There are also valuable resources available that may allow us, with other strategies, to grow through these difficulties. We must all take care of our physical, mental and spiritual health to effectively do the work we do for others. We have listed some resources that may help below.
Edward “Ed” M. Barksdale, Jr., MD APSA President and the Board of Governors
Grief and Suicide Prevention
1. The Five Stages of the Grieving Process Grief.com
2. Supporting a Grieving Loved One American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)-10 Ways to Support a Loved One Who Has Lost Someone
3. Conscious Conversations Understanding feelings, respecting boundaries, and being present for those experiencing loss. Community Virtues & Agreements
The Dinner Party is a platform for grieving 20- and 30-somethings to find a peer community and build lasting relationships. Since 2014, The Dinner Party has connected more than 13,000 grieving peers to one another - including 2,000 since the start of the pandemic. They screen, train and support a growing network of peer hosts and connect them to 12 to 15 people nearby who share a similar age and loss experience.
5. Resources for Those Affected by Suicide
AFSP.org: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Speaking of Suicide A site for suicidal individuals and their loved ones, survivors, mental health professionals and others who care.
Healthcare Professional Suicide Prevention The pandemic, healthcare professional burnout, overcoming the stigma of seeking support for mental health and current events in our communities have all taken a toll on our well-being. The AFSP offers resources to raise awareness, prioritize physician mental health and seek help.
AFSP Support Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or text "TALK" to 741741
AFSP-Get Help Here Support for yourself or those who may be at risk for suicide.
Today.com The family of emergency department doctor, Lorna Green, shares their story of her April 2020 suicide.
Suicide Response Toolkit In the event of suicide within a physician residency or fellowship program, it is critical to have a plan of action already in place. This toolkit gives you a foundation for establishing a plan and serves as a practical handbook to consult at the time a suicide death does occur.
6. Physician Support Line
The Physician Support Line is a national, free and confidential support service made up of 600+ volunteer psychiatrists, joined together in the determined hope to provide peer support for our physician colleagues and American medical students as we navigate the many professional and personal intersections of our lives. No appointment is necessary. Please do not wait till there is a mental health crisis before seeking help. www.physiciansupportline.com
Call our National Support Hotline:1-888-409-0141.
Physician Support Topics: Physician Support Resources
7. Healthcare Professionals Facebook Support Groups:
Physician to Physician Facebook Group: Healing the Practice of Medicine is a forum for physicians only (MD or DO or osteopathic or allopathic medical students) to discuss the epidemic of burnout, from a physician’s perspective including contributing factors, previous experiences as well as learning about applying evidence-based interventions.
First Responders Facebook Group: Grief Anonymous is a forum for all Healthcare and First Responders