Emergency medicine can be a turbulent and overwhelming field for the physicians, nurses, and other health care providers who are faced with life and death consequences each day.
Emergency physicians have historically had higher rates of career burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than other medical specialties. Upwards of 65 percent of emergency physicians and emergency medicine resident physicians report experiencing burnout during their careers. While approximately 15 to 17 percent of emergency physicians, and upwards of 20 percent of emergency medicine residents met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD in 2019.
ACEP developed a statement with over 40 leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, that outlines recommendations for removing existing barriers to seeking treatment, including the fear of reprisal, and better encouraging professional support and non-clinical mental health initiatives, such as peer support, for physicians.
ACEP also strongly supports the Joint Commission’s stance that a health professionals’ history of mental illness should not be used as an indication of their current or future ability to practice medicine. Additionally, ACEP offers free mental health counseling sessions for its 39,000 individual emergency physician members, peer-to-peer support meditation guides, a 24-hour support line, and other tools and resources.
Chief Operating Officer