When we are dealing with pain, one of the first people from whom we seek help is a physician.
|Sandra Frazier, the UAB Health System Physician Health Officer, is hoping the new Physician Resource Office at UAB Highlands will be a place all UAB doctors, dentists, residents, first-year professional students, doctoral candidates and area physicians will turn to when they need help or information.|
We go asking for help, advice, guidance — anything that will help us in our time of need.
But where do doctors go when they need help?
“Sadly, the people who are so focused on caring for others are usually the least focused on caring for themselves,” says Sandra Frazier, M.D. “The best way to care for others is to take care of ourselves.”
Frazier, the UAB Health System Physician Health Officer, is hoping the new Physician Resource Office at UAB Highlands will be a place all UAB doctors — of medicine or philosophy — plus dentists, residents, first professional students, doctoral candidates and area physicians will turn when they need help or information.
“Our goal is to increase the medical professionals’ awareness of the importance for self-care amid a career dedicated to caring for others,” Frazier says.
UAB Health System CEO David Hoidal says the office is a fulfillment of a pledge to provide the UABHS network of physicians with the same quality care they show their patients on a daily basis.
“The Health System is committed to the physical, emotional and mental well-being of its physicians and health professionals in training,” Hoidal says. “The Physician Resource Office will provide comprehensive physician health services for physician faculty, residents and medical students.”
“By helping our physicians, we hope to create a better working environment for our staff as well as a better caring environment for our patients,” adds Scott Buchalter, M.D., UABHS vice president and chief strategy and quality officer. “We think this office will help establish UABHS as a national model and pioneer in the area of physician health.”
Frazier and Program Director Adrianne Raymond are available to counsel physicians individually or in groups. For example, they can offer grief/loss counseling upon the death of a patient.
“Being a physician is a stressful way to make a living, and there are times we may need a sounding board or just someone to talk with,” Frazier says. “We want to graduate healthier physicians who understand the importance of taking care of themselves and understand that it’s okay to seek help.”
All self-referrals to the Physician Resource Office are confidential, and a network of outside resources is available if needed. Sessions are conducted in a supportive atmosphere with professionals who have experience working with physicians and health professionals and the issues they face daily in their practices.
The Physician Resource Office offers many services professionals can use to their advantage:
• Lectures and presentations on a number of topics, including communication, balance, depression, boundary setting, managing stress and anger management
• Comprehensive one-on-one assessments
• Short-term individual counseling
• Group sessions to process such issues as managing difficult patients and families, dealing with the death of a patient, etc.
• Team-building exercises
• Physician enrichment workshops
• Referrals to network of specialists, if needed
“We’re trying to be cutting edge,” Frazier says. “And we want our physicians, residents and students to know we’re an advocate for them.”
To contact Frazier or Raymond, call 930-7680 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also visit www.uabhealth.org/physicianhealth for more information.
Help available to non-physicians through the Resource Center
UAB also offers its non-physician employees help through The Resource Center, an employee assistance and counseling program designed to provide employees and their families with resources for resolving work-related and personal problems. It provides individual, couples and family counseling to assist you in clarifying issues, exploring options, and finding solutions.
For a referral or to speak with a professional about your concerns, contact The Resource Center at 934-2281. Services are free and confidential and are available to all faculty, staff and their families. Learn more online at www.uab.edu/eap .