Physician Mental Health: The Role of Self-Compassion and Detachment

Training programs on emotional resilience and Acceptance Commitment Therapy can also cultivate self-compassion. Acceptance Commitment Therapy is a psychological intervention that uses mindfulness strategies to help individuals accept their thoughts, emotions, and situation. It teaches us to be kind to ourselves and to recognize, accept, and address our own needs.3

“In the workplace, Schwartz Rounds, support groups, mentors, and colleagues can help,” noted Dr Teoh. “Other more formal approaches, such as peer coaching or supervisory practice, can also be used to help individuals become more aware and reflective, model good practice, and identify personal strengths.”

Time to REVAMP?

A model proposed to promote flourishing — where positive emotions and functioning are experienced most of the time — among physicians is REVAMP. The model focuses on 6 key elements4:

  • Relationships
  • Engagement
  • Vitality
  • Accomplishment
  • Meaning
  • Positive emotions

Specific interventions to improve each of these elements include:

  • Developing positive personal and workplace relationships
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Boosting vitality through physical activity, nutrition, and sleep
  • Building resilience

The interventions under REVAMP contribute toward developing self-compassion, which is essential for physicians’ flourishing. These proactive approaches can be adopted as early as medical training school or by practicing physicians.

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This article originally appeared on Medical Bag