Long before the COVID19 pandemic, physicians, especially emergency physicians, have faced significant structural barriers that impede seeking help to address mental health challenges. Health care professionals continue to experience high levels of stress and burnout due to the pandemic. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) and American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) proudly support the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. The House of Representatives passed the bill on December 8, 2021, and on February 17, 2022, the Senate passed the bill, and President Biden signed this bill on March 18, 2022.
This is a momentous first step on the much-needed work to provide awareness and sustainable efforts to seek care for mental health and well-being and to reduce burnout and prevent suicide. This includes removing barriers and stigma to accessing mental health care and treatment. AAEM and AAEM/RSA continue to support the protection of our members as we process the daily emotional and mental trauma we encounter in our profession.
AAEM and AAEM/RSA Wellness Committees are committed to promoting and developing programs that enhance the well-being of our fellow emergency physicians. We encourage members to get involved in several of our initiatives, and welcome other ideas on how AAEM and AAEM/SA can further support your well-being.
Alice Min Simpkins, MD, FAAEM
Chair, AAEM Wellness Committee
Assistant Dean, Career Development, Office of Faculty Affairs
Professor, Emergency Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson
Al’ai Alvarez, MD, FAAEM
Vice-Chair, AAEM Wellness Committee
Director of Well-Being and Co-Chair of the Human Potential Team
Clinically Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine