Emergency Medicine Wellness Week

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Learn to Prioritize Your Own Health

ACEP as a representative organization of 34,000 physicians has a dual focus: On the one hand we promote the value of our specialty to our patients and those in government and industry who provide payment for our services; at the same time we work hard at creating a fulfilling work environment and satisfying career for our members who work 24/7/365. As emergency physicians, we care a lot about our patients. That’s why we chose this specialty. But all too often we are so busy caring for others, we forget to care about ourselves. That’s why this year we invite you to participate in the first Emergency Medicine Wellness Week™, Jan. 24-30, 2016.

The purpose of our inaugural Emergency Medicine Wellness Week™ is to remind all emergency physicians and staff to take the time to self-renew while working the long and at times very difficult hours we do. We want this week to be about action rather than just ideas. Everyone makes resolutions around the New Year; we hope this week will help us and our colleagues make commitments to become healthier, less burned out, and more resilient.

The ACEP website will have all the infor­ma­tion you’ll need. First step will be to fill out an anonymous pledge card selecting your areas of focus for the week. We want you to print it out and stick it on your refrigerator, your mirror, anywhere you’ll see it every day. We’ll provide you with suggestions in 3 major areas:

  1. Physical
    —    Eat healthy
    —    Drink water, not soda
    —    Exercise
  1. Connection
    —    Spend time with family and friends
    —    Connecting to your spiritual self
    —    Do 1 community project
  1. Career enhancement
    —    Recognize and decrease burnout
    —    Develop a new networking contact
    —    Plan your next career move

Or you can make your own pledge. You can sign up to receive daily messages about wellness for that week. These messages not only will help you keep on track, but also — and more important – will introduce you to resources to help improve your wellness that week and beyond.

At the end of the week, we’ll ask you how you did. We’d like to tally up total distance walked by all participants that week and the total amount of weight lost. We also want to learn what worked for you. Primarily, at the end of the week, we want you to feel better – about yourself, about your family/friends, about your patients, and about your work. We’d like you to remember, once again, why you chose medicine, and emergency medicine, for your life’s work – and to be proud and happy with that decision. So mark the week on your calendar, and watch for emails about our first Emergency Medicine Wellness Week™! Sign up, make your selection, and make a change in your life for the better, if only for 1 week. Spend a week taking care of you.

Jay A. Kaplan, MD, FACEP

Jay A. Kaplan, MD, FACEP

President, ACEP, Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae, CA
Jay A. Kaplan, MD, FACEP

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