Physician well-being is a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that characterizes personal and professional life. Well-being embraces concepts of health, contentment, balance, meaning and purpose. It is evidenced by lifestyle and behaviors that contribute to personal wholeness and healing. These practices include caring for oneself and one’s family, nurturing professional relationships with colleagues and other caregivers, and treating everyone with respect, kindness, appreciation, and empathy.
Optimal physician well-being implies that fundamental life issues, such as rest, nourishment, and security, are sufficiently addressed; personal and professional relationships are conducive to health; clinical knowledge and skills are utilized in a fulfilling manner; and one has a feeling of deep purpose and connection, an affirmative sense that “I am the person I was born to be, doing what I was born to do.”
Physician engagement, described in an organizational context, implies a physician-hospital relationship that is characterized by mutual connectedness and commitment. Physician engagement is dependent upon personal acquaintance and authentic appreciation between physicians and senior hospital executives, and it is linked in a practical sense to organizational responsiveness to issues of importance to physicians. Face-to-face communication inspires mutual respect and trust and provides a foundation for physician-hospital collaboration.
Physician engagement is founded upon confidence in hospital leadership, respect for staff, pride in clinical services, and unreserved commitment to quality of patient care. It requires a sense of satisfaction with practice characteristics, including compensation, call, and consultation. It is evidenced by institutional loyalty, as demonstrated through participation in hospital and medical staff affairs, and pride in the organization, evidenced by honorable representation in the community.
At its best, physician engagement is characterized by a high degree of personal identity with the mission of the organization. For a faith-based, mission-focused healthcare institution, this entails a spiritual synergy that acknowledges the role of faith and prayer in healing (spirituality) and embraces an attitude of service toward people in need of care (ministry).