Meeting Reviews

Friday Session IV: WELI Forum

Reviewed by Titilopemi A.O. Aina, MD, MPH, FAAP, FASA
Texas Children’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Aina

Dr. Aina

On Friday, February 26, 2021, the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) held a forum highlighting the work of the SPA Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Initiative (WELI). One of the talks was given by WELI Protégé, Norah Ruth Janosy, MD (Mentor: Corrie Anderson, MD). Dr. Janosy is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado/Children's Hospital Colorado. Her talk was entitled, “Are you a Team Member? Lessons from a Multidisciplinary Aerodigestive Team”.

Dr. Janosy’s talk focused on physician well-being and burnout. She described burnout using the Maslach definition from 2001 as a “psychological syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and impaired personal accomplishment induced by repeated workplace stressors.”

She stated that sustainable ways to mitigate burnout in healthcare teams are poorly understood. She then discussed her personal experience with being a member of the Multidisciplinary Aerodigestive Team at her institution and its impact on burnout.

She went over definitions for the Aerodigestive Program and Aerodigestive patient (Figures 1 and 2).

Fig 1

Fig 2

She describes feeling supported by being a part of the Aerodigestive Team and the positive impact on her job satisfaction. Beyond her personal experience, she reports on an IRB-approved pilot survey-based study and national study looking to see the effect of being a member of an Aerodigestive Team on job satisfaction, work-related well-being, and social support.

The pilot study's findings showed that her local Aerodigestive Team members had high positive emotions, low negative emotions, increased job satisfaction, and increased emotional social support. One hundred percent reported improved job satisfaction based on being members of the team.

The survey showed that 65% of physicians are burned out on a national level, similar to previously published numbers. In this cohort, 65% reported high emotional exhaustion, 35% reported high depersonalization, and 90% reported high personal accomplishment. The high level of personal accomplishment is divergent from previously reported data on burnout, where this variable is usually low.

Furthermore, the majority (92%) said that involvement with the team positively impacted job satisfaction despite high emotional exhaustion levels (Figure 3). Similarly, in those with high depersonalization, 85% still report high job satisfaction. Similar to the pilot study, the national data revealed high social support levels due to membership in the Aerodigestive Team.

Fig 3

She ended by discussing predictors of improved job satisfaction. A linear regression model was performed, and two factors were identified. These associated factors were work-related well-being and emotional social support (Figure 4).

Fig 4

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