Is it time to resuscitate the doctors’ lounge?

15 Feb 2023 • Facing high rates of burnout and loneliness, some doctors are calling for the return of physician lounges. Once a fixture of hospitals, dedicated spaces for health workers to rest and socialise went out of style in recent decades as a result of cost-cutting measures and the rise of patient-centred design. Studies have since shown that social isolation negatively affects health workers’ well-being, with medicine ranking among the loneliest professions. Virtual care has compounded this sense of isolation — not only are physicians seeing less of their colleagues, but they’re seeing less of their patients, too.

More than couches and coffee

The Mayo Clinic found that providing physicians with just one paid hour biweekly to meet with a small group of peers reduced burnout and increased their sense of meaning and engagement in their work. A 2022 scoping review identified several ways that shared social spaces positively impact the learning and wellness of junior doctors — not least by providing informal and safe places for connection and reflection.

Tell us in the comments below, what would you as a doctor like to see in your hospital's doctors’ lounge?

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal | Read full story

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