Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Integrated Primary Care
Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Infectious Disease | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Telemedicine | Virus Diseases
There is strong evidence for clinical benefits of group medical visits (GMVs) (also known as shared medical appointments) for prenatal care, diabetes, chronic pain, and a wide range of other conditions. GMVs can increase access to integrative care while providing additional benefits including increased clinician-patient contact time, cost savings, and support with prevention and self-management of chronic conditions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many clinical sites are experimenting with new models of care delivery including virtual GMVs using telehealth. Little research has focused on which clinicians offer this type of care, how the GMV approach affects the ways they practice, and their job satisfaction. Workplace-based interventions have been shown to decrease burnout in individual physicians. We argue that more research is needed to understand if GMVs should be considered among these workplace-based interventions, given their potential benefits to clinician wellbeing. GMVs can benefit clinician wellbeing in multiple ways, including: (1) Extended time with patients; (2) Increased ability to provide team-based care; (3) Understanding patients' social context and addressing social determinants of health. GMVs can be implemented in a variety of settings in many different ways depending on institutional context, patient needs and clinician preferences. We suggest that GMV programs with adequate institutional support may be beneficial for preventing burnout and improving retention among clinicians and health care teams more broadly, including in integrative health care. Just as group support benefits patients struggling with loneliness and social isolation, GMVs can help address these and other concerns in overwhelmed clinicians.
burnout, clinician wellbeing, group medical visits, COVID-19
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Copyright The Author(s) 2020. Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/enus/nam/open-access-at-sage).
DOI of Published Version
Thompson-Lastad A, Gardiner P. Group Medical Visits and Clinician Wellbeing. Glob Adv Health Med. 2020 Nov 18;9:2164956120973979. doi: 10.1177/2164956120973979. PMID: 33282545; PMCID: PMC7683834. Link to article on publisher's site
Global advances in health and medicine
Thompson-Lastad A, Gardiner P. (2020). Group Medical Visits and Clinician Wellbeing. COVID-19 Publications by UMMS Authors. https://doi.org/10.1177/2164956120973979. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/covid19/156
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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