AAFP’s Resources for Well Being and Physician Wellness – Tips from Your Colleagues

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Your well-being matters. When you care for yourself, you can be more present for your loved ones and colleagues, and stay passionate about your purpose: providing quality patient care.

The AAFP’s Well-being Planner will help you identify your goals and collect Planner resources to address the five primary factors that affect your well-being as a family physician.


How Georgia Academy Members Embrace Wellness – A Few Tips from Your Colleagues


  • When I am feeling burned out, I take some deep breaths, listen to music or do a few Yoga poses.
  • I have always tried to follow the adage from my anatomy professor during my 1st year of medical school: “Work hard, play hard.” (Imagine it said with his refined British accent).
  • The key though, is to SCHEDULE play time so you look forward to it and HAVE to do it. It can be vacation, gardening, theater, parties, sports, dinners out — whatever you love to do.
  • I also have found it critical to “unplug” from technology for several hours — during my crazy business travel days, my favorite part of it all was being “unreachable” through phone, text or email while I was on an airplane for several hours — we need to savor those times
  • I make time each week (even if it is just for an hour to two) to do something I like to do and want to do–not something that I “have to do.”
  • This could be any number of things, like doing yard work (yes, my John Deere is my “happy pill”), pleasure reading (not a medical journal for goodness sakes), watching a movie, spending time with family and/or friends, and fishing or hunting. This one or two hours washes off the stress of the week, and I (and others) can tell a difference when I don’t allow myself this time each week.
  • For me it’s exercise and having goals to train for a 5K race or triathlon.
  • Another way I unwind is to plan a sick day into my week calling it a mental health day and I don’t tell my kids or family I am off, and I stay home hidden away all day doing something that makes me feel less overwhelmed (like organizing a closet)!
  • My way to unwind is to get up before anyone at my home and go for a run! I am up before the sun comes up and it makes dealing with the day a lot easier!
  • I shut it down and play golf
  • Remember that we all can become a patient at anytime
  • We must take time to take care of ourselves the same way we take care of our patients
  • Listen to good music in your office
  • Cut the phones off at lunch and leave the office – even if for a short walk
  • Exercise daily
  • When I feel burned out and can’t travel out of the state, I take a staycation. I get a hotel room for the weekend within the state in a vicinity I haven’t explored before and plan fun activities around there such as a live jazz lounge, local activities, spa or some great restaurants.
  • Whenever the burnout level gets high I just take a couple days off.  Used to take just an afternoon. As the needed break gets longer I will eventually call it retirement.
  • I usually relieve stress with a quick intense workout.  That is usually my quick fix.  For long term stress relief, I usually schedule a quarterly spa day with some friends.  These activities allow me to keep pushing forward.
  • My tip would be to make time for yourself with things you like to do. I like to golf, exercise, hike, go to the beach, and play with my dog.
  • When I am starting to feel burnt out, I plan a weekend trip for the family, and I play! The kids enjoy when mommy uses them as a stress relief.
  • Now I understand that we don’t have much time in this profession to do all of these things, so sometimes I like to make little positive notes and reminders about things I am grateful. That particularly helped during my Step 1 preparations, and during times I needed to work and study while rotation in my third year. These little positive reminders really go a long way because there are times I forget during the stressful times and the hustle of why I started the journey, how I made it, and the little things and those that helped me along the way.
  • For months I added a daily note about positive things that happened throughout the day, things I was proud of, and things I was thankful for, and at the end of the month I went over them and reflected upon them and I believe it really helped me through a particularly tough burnout period in my medical school journey.
  • I pray every night and start with thank you God for this day. I make myself go to the gym and run or do elliptical and sweat!  I take 20 min for yoga for beginners. I play tennis with my 80-year-old dad. I spend 10 minutes listing all of the things I’m grateful for and if all else fails I grab my girlfriends and go drink wine!
  • Every day, in the middle of my shift, I take 15 minutes to myself. Whether it’s to read, take a walk, eat a snack, or just sit in the quiet, it helps to center my outlook away from all the busy-ness and slow down.
  • When I am starting to feel burned out, I find that I must start saying “no” to my colleagues. I try to do these 8 times a week.”
  • Take up a new hobby. For fun I started decorating my house with silk flowers. I was so surprised that this actually relaxes me. My Pastor will not let anyone else decorate the church. Friends and family only want a centerpiece as a gift. Who would of thought?!!!!!



Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO), Provider Course

ALSO® Provider Course. Tuesday, October 9, 2018 | New Orleans, LA

Does not include transportation or lodging.  Valid for one clinician.

A NEW one-day course format is available for Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®). This newly evolved course is an evidence-based interprofessional training program that prepares members of the entire maternity care team to better manage obstetric emergencies through teaching standardized approaches to care. This comprehensive course encourages team-based learning amongst physicians, residents, nurse midwives, and registered nurses to improve patient safety and positively impact maternal outcomes.

Click link below to bid:


Help amplify the importance of treating mental health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the AAFP is conducting a campaign encouraging patients to take care of both their mind and body by talking to a family physician.  Please help us amplify the importance of treating mental health by joining the AAFP’s May 22 Thunderclap drive.  The “Mental Health Matters” Thunderclap event dovetails with the larger consumer campaign, which focuses on dispelling the shame surrounding talking about this issue and provides tools designed to spur consumers to reach out and have that physician-patient conversation.

Click here for more information

Thank you for your participation.


ONC & CMS Public Listening Session on Reducing Clinician Burden

As part of 21st Century Cures Act implementation (Cures), ONC and CMS will hold a public listening session to hear from stakeholders on reducing clinician burden. Seating for the session is extremely limited to 100 on a first-come basis, and a conference line will allow registrants to share their comments and offer potential solutions to ONC and CMS. The listening session will support ONC’s efforts under Cures to document the effects of clinician burden and, with CMS, to establish a goal, with strategy and recommendations to reduce regulatory and administrative burdens related to the use of electronic health records. ONC will update registrants with meeting logistics and a draft agenda.

Date & Time: Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 10am – 4:30pm ET
Location: US Department of Health and Human Services* and phone conference
*In-person seating is limited to 100 people, but attendees on the phone will also have the opportunity to provide input.

Register for the meeting

Volunteer Now to Attend AAFP Leadership Development Meeting

Attention GAFP Members: Leadership Development Meeting – Join Us – Travel Stipend Available 

AAFP Leadership Conference – April 26-28, 2017 (preconference April 25) – Kansas City, Missouri Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center

To: GAFP Colleagues

From: Loy D. “Chip” Cowart, MD, FAAFP – President

If you want to get more involved in your state and national academies, being a delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Annual Chapter Leadership Forum (ACLF) and the National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) is the perfect opportunity.

Join your Georgia colleagues and network with over 300 family physician leaders from around the country at this vibrant meeting! April 26-28, 2018 (optional preconference April 25) – Kansas City, Missouri.

Join your colleagues at the Annual Chapter Leader Forum and National Conference of Constituency Leaders. Whether you’re seeking professional development, leadership development, or a voice in policy development, the AAFP Leadership Conference is the place to network, learn, and train with hundreds of current and aspiring leaders in family medicine.

Three-plus days of training. Two dynamic tracks. One focus: LEADERSHIP.

The Annual Chapter Leader Forum (ACLF) is the AAFP’s leadership development program for chapter elected leaders, aspiring leaders, and chapter staff.

  • Discover solutions to chapter challenges.
  • Learn from your colleagues.
  • Strengthen relationships with peers and AAFP leaders.
  • Refine leadership skills.
  • Develop new leaders.

The National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) is the AAFP’s premier policy and leadership development event for underrepresented constituencies.

  • Create powerful platforms for change and influence AAFP policies.
  • Inspire yourself, your colleagues, and other AAFP members.
  • Lead the way for progress and improvement.
  • Voice your unique perspective and opinion with others who share common interests.
  • Build leadership skills to use in your practice and community.

At NCCL, you will elect national officers, gain and enhance skills to become an articulate policy advocate and an effective leader, and meet others who share similar interests. Chapter delegates participate in all NCCL-specific business functions and have the opportunity to attend a variety of educational breakout sessions each day as well. If you are chosen to be a GAFP representative to ACLF or NCCL, the Georgia Academy will reimburse your travel expenses up to $800 – $1,000*. (with the submission of an expense report and receipts).

*This travel stipend typically does not cover the cost of the entire meeting which is between $1,000 – $1,300. If you are interested as serving as a delegate to ACLF or NCCL please email ffulton@gafp.org and make a brief statement of your interest no later than Friday, February 2nd. All nominees will be notified in mid-February in time to register for the “early bird” AAFP registration discount. If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Fay Fulton (ffulton@gafp.org) or call 800.392.3841.

Visit the AAFP for more detail: https://www.aafp.org/events/aclf-nccl.html