From Dr. Elisabeth Poorman, Physician Wellness Committee Chair for the King County Medical Society:
Greetings to all King County Medical Society members and allies,
I write to you today to first and foremost invite you to the Physician Wellness Committee's Inaugural Concert, which will be a virtual concert on Friday, July 10, at 6pm PST (music starts at 6:30 pm). The concert is open to everyone, with an optional intro and mingling session before and after for those interested in the committee. Sign up for the concert here.
The purpose of the Physician Wellness Committee will be to support the well-being of our physicians and consequently, our patients. With so much tragedy and terror in the world, including an ongoing pandemic and the persistent racist killing of unarmed black people in the US and subsequent unrest, it can be hard to argue the importance of this topic. But when I say "wellness," I mean not only the well-being of an individual physician, but a systemic response to our distress and moral injury as a catalyst for institutional change.
Physicians, as we have seen, are the canary in the coal mine of everyone's safety. If we do not have personal protective equipment, our patients are not safe. If we are overworked, care quality decreases and our patients suffer. If we cannot provide the kind of care our patients deserve, we experience moral injury that can only be relieved by making our whole healthcare system more just and equitable.
In the coming year, I hope to work on specific goals with the committee members including,
1) Improving access to mental health care for health care providers and reducing stigma
2) Protecting physicians who speak out about unsafe conditions
3) Helping physicians to channel their distress into media and political advocacy
4) Advocating for more openness from the Physician Health Program
5) Supporting individual wellness initiatives
And other initiatives that our members are passionate about.
If you are interested in learning more and potentially joining this committee, please fill out this survey.
Dr. Elisabeth Poorman, MD, MPH
Chair, Physician Wellness Committee for the King County Medical Society
Schedule for the concert
6:00-6:30 Intro to the Physician Wellness Committee
6:30-7:45 Public Concert
7:45-7:55 Q&A with performer Geisa Dutra
7:55-9:00 Q&A with Physician Wellness Committee
Cost: $3 to sign up, $10 suggested musician donation. More about the musician here.