Welcome to Wellness Week—We’re Glad You’re Here!

As a physician, you’ve dedicated your career to caring for your patients’ health and well-being. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients’ health care needs have spiraled and the hazards of providing that care have intensified. Despite this, you rose to the challenge. While you continue to work on the front lines of a global pandemic, you’re now preparing to take your place at the forefront of a massive vaccination initiative.

You’ve shouldered an incomprehensible amount of stress and grief. It’s more important than ever before that you care for your own well-being, and the OAFP is here to support you!

The OAFP will lean into its strategic priority “to bring the joy back to family medicine,” and provide a week full of joy, delivered directly to you!

Each day during Wellness Week, family physician, resident, and medical student members will receive an email filled with resources, tools, tips, and more on topics that are related to a daily wellness theme. You choose when to engage in the content. Click through resources immediately or revisit when you have the time and space to do so.

Throughout the week, the OAFP will host live presentations and discussions via the OAFP Facebook page and YouTube channel where expert speakers will share small chunks of content under that day’s theme.

Overall, the OAFP will provide a space for members to engage in content that will spark a new sense of joy in what they do and improve their well-being, reduce burnout, and ultimately improve patient care.

Check out the sections below for more information on each theme!

Bonus for American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) members! The AAFP offers free access to the Physician Well-Being Index. This brief online assessment, developed by Mayo Clinic in partnership with MedEd Solutions, evaluates multiple dimensions of distress and burnout in just seven to nine questions to provide immediate individualized feedback. Take the assessment today!


We kicked off Wellness Week with a Bite-Sized Learning session featuring Michael Holliday, MD, medical director of University Health Services and associate professor of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Holliday shared his own story of burnout, the actions he took to overcome it, and an overview of lessons he learned throughout his journey.

Efforts to address burnout are usually focused on the individual; however, it is a twofold problem that exists in the work environment as well as the individual. From administrative burden, difficulty finding work-life balance, feeling undervalued, frustrations with referral networks, government regulations, and (of course) reimbursement issues, many times the physician’s stress and burnout isn’t of their own doing.

Listen in as a panel of family physicians actively engaged in making positive changes to their health systems share resources and advice on how you can start making system-wide changes too!

Professional wellness also encompasses a much larger scope of topics. For additional resources on financial health, career goal setting, time management, boundary setting, and leadership, download the professional wellness packet!

Program Highlight!
For those interested in taking their leadership skills to the next level and learn how to lead change to boost well-being in your workplace, the AAFP is now offering an exciting opportunity – at no charge!

The Leading Physician Well-Being (LPW) Program, developed by the AAFP and the United Health Foundation, is a unique, tuition-free certificate program designed to help you develop the leadership skills you need to spearhead that change among the physicians and other clinicians in your practice or health care organization. The application process will begin in September 2021.

The health care system does not just affect your patients, it affects you. While burnout is largely the result of external factors outside the control of an individual physician, all medical professionals experience remarkable stress dealing with work and personal demands.

With the addition of challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the OAFP acknowledges the toll that the current environment is taking on the well-being of its members and their teams.

The OAFP hosted a live session with Nelson Heise from the Ohio Physicians Health Program. Listen in as he talks about wellness in times of uncertainty.

Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. If left unaddressed, life can feel disabling making it more likely for individuals to develop alcohol abuse/dependence and be at an increased risk of developing depression and suicidal ideation.

We know support is needed as you navigate the difficult challenges arising on a daily basis. You’ve been in survival mode for a surprising amount of time and we want you to know you’re not alone. We have compiled a list of strategies and resources to support the mental wellness and emotional health of physicians. Download the Mental Wellness & Emotional Health Resource Packet today!

Looking for CME on these topics? The Ohio Physician Wellness Coalition has 11 CME videos you can complete for free! Check out this one-pager that includes all 11 well-being topics to explore.

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Who are you as a family physician, as a human in this world? Do you know? Finding your ‘why’ matters. It can lead to a greater sense of purpose in your work, which can have significant ripple effects on your team, your patients, your community, and within your personal life.

Another way to think about renewing your “why” is to reflect on your purpose. Our life’s purpose can be found in many ways. For some it may be their daily work, for others it may be their favorite hobby or something that helps make the world a better place. For many of you, your purpose likely revolves around healing and caring for others. But, is there more? Has your why or purpose changed or shifted?

During this week of wellness, we encourage you to take the time to consider where you are now and why you chose a career in medicine. Maybe now’s a good time to reflect on your personal statement from medical school. What’s the same and what’s changed? Maybe you’re right on track, but maybe you’ve swayed a bit from where you thought you’d be. Any answer is ok, but it’s important to take the time to invest in self-awareness and your core values both professionally and personally.

To get you started on finding your why and renewing your purpose, download this packet from the Bounce Back Project. Included in the packet are descriptions, resources, and worksheets to create your purpose.

Additional webpages, books, articles, and videos to help you navigate this concept include:

An area that may help renew your why is building connections in the community. How are you and your team connecting patients with community resources? While an extra area of care to consider, connecting patients to the non-medical resources they need can improve joy in what you do. Listen to “Building Community Connections: There’s Joy in That” with Kim Yu, MD, FAAFP, and view her presentation to learn more!


Personal health is the ability to take charge of your health by making conscious decisions to be healthy. It not only refers to the physical well-being of an individual, but it also comprises the wellness of emotional, intellect, social, economic, spiritual, and other areas of life.

As a family physician, you provide resources and advice on many personal health topics to your patients, but do you apply those same sentiments to yourself? Now’s the time to invest in you!

From physical exercise, nutrition, sleep, and habit building, to mindfulness and meditation, the breadth of topics that make up your personal health is almost never ending. It can definitely be overwhelming to try to make a change or impact on any area. However, with small steps and determination, we know you can!

Download the Personal Health Resource Packet for tools, tips, articles, apps, webpages, and more!

To help you focus on mindfulness and meditation (with some physical activity included), OAFP member Dana Maxwell, DO, chief resident at The Ohio State University Family Medicine Residency Program, shared her passion and talents with us to record the following three videos for members:

In a culmination of all wellness themes, listen to Clif Knight, MD, FAAFP, discuss Burnout and the Family Physician Ecosystem and AAFP Program Strategists Stephanie Muller and Heather Woods share well-being resources and programs accessible to you as members.

For additional resources, view the presentations by Dr. Knight and Stephanie and Heather.





From a Medical Economics article, A Creative Outlet Can Recharge a Burned-Out Physician, the author explains, “for most physicians, the work of medicine is a calling and a passion. But it doesn’t have to be the only calling. When signs of burnout strike, sometimes it might be necessary for physicians to pivot slightly away from medicine toward another hobby or act of creativity to regenerate the spirit.”


That’s what our final theme of the week is all about, “refinding” the parts of the self that are non-medical and can serve as a way to restore the spirit in the face of burnout. Take some time today, or as you revisit this theme, to rediscover old talents and lean into whatever hobby or non-medical outlet you want to try out!

Getting creative — whether that’s via the arts, crafts, or by getting out into the great outdoors — can not only help you to unwind, but it could also provide an effective way to manage stress and refocus after long days in the office.

Need a little help in finding your outlet? Here are a few resources to get you started:

Plus, get some inspiration from your peers. The images to the right include hobbies, passions, and creative pastimes of your family medicine family. Click through them to be inspired or download their full stories to view later!

The OAFP is also honored to be partnering with the Voices in Humanism initiative, which is a collaboration between The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine’s Gold Humanism Honor Society Resident Chapter and the OSU Medical Heritage Center. The mission is to collect, preserve, and share the arts created during this challenging time. The OAFP continues to highlight pieces of work from the initiative in the Weekly Family Medicine Update. Submissions are also shared on the Joy Among Chaos webpage. For a look at what the initiative is all about, watch the video montage on the left created by the initiative with music from the OSU Professional School of Orchestra.

Finally, where would we be without connection, comradery, laughter, and friends? We’re bringing the fun part of today’s theme to you with the OAFP Foundation’s virtual Family Medicine Party! Join your family medicine family for a casual night of recognition and trivia on Friday, August 13, at 7 p.m. Don’t miss out, register today! We’ve even got a cocktail/mocktail menu for you to try!

P.S. We hear philanthropy is also a valuable component to wellness. Learn more about the Foundation’s mission to cultivate student career choice in the specialty of family medicine and have the opportunity to directly affect some powerful programs through your donation.

Wellness Week Challenge

Creating a routine and setting up healthy habits can be a challenge, especially when you have many other priorities and obligations day-to-day. This week, the OAFP encourages you to take a few moments to create space for you. To get you started, we’ve created a weekly challenge that will focus on physical health and gratitude. Use the Wellness Week Tracker to record challenge actions this week. Be sure to include a goal for the week before you begin and include any additional habits you’d like!

OAFP Daily Challenges
  • Daily Physical Health Challenge. We challenge you to complete 10K steps or 30 minutes of intentional activity of your choosing a day, you choose but get moving! Hit your goal for the day, check it off on the tracker.
  • Daily Gratitude Challenge. Every morning or evening take 5 minutes to note the top 3 things you are grateful for, it can be big things or the smallest detail from the day – what made you smile and reflect on that. Don’t forget to check it off on your tracker.
  • To take it an extra step, add other areas you’d like to make a habit of or focus on during the week. Make it your own!
  • To keep momentum and add accountability, share your goals, areas of focus, successes, and challenges with a friend. Set up monthly check-ins to stay accountable. Here’s a blank tracker to use long after Wellness Week.
  • Submit a copy of your Wellness Week Tracker to Kaitlin McGuffie by Friday, August 20, to be entered to win an OAFP logo item!

Questions & Disclaimer

Please contact Director of Foundation & Strategic Programs Kaitlin McGuffie or call 800.742.7327.

Disclaimer: Resources shared in the resource packets and throughout the week do not represent the OAFP. Materials shared were cultivated and vetted by a volunteer physician workgroup. Resources included should serve as a starting point to build from.

Thank you!

A special shout out to the Joy of Medicine Resource Team members for making Wellness Week possible. From sharing and vetting resources to moderating live sessions, thank you to the following members: Roma Amin, MD; Stan Anderson, MD; Jaividhya Dasarathy, MD; John DiSabato, MD; Melvin Glover, MD; Mike Holliday, MD; Ryan Kauffman, MD; Mary Krebs, MD; Muyuan Ma, MD; Renee Markovich, MD; Anna McMaster, MD; Kelly Meehan-de la Cruz, MD; Sarah Metzger, MD; Scott Morris, DO; Elizabeth Righter, MD; Sarah Sams, MD; Jon Seager, MD; Mike Sevilla, MD; Shraddha Srivastava, DO; Steve Ulrich, MD; and Chris White, MD.

Financial support for this program is provided by the AAFP Foundation to the Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium (FMPC) and is funded by members like you! Help programs like this continue to support family medicine by giving to the AAFP Foundation. Select “Chapter Grants” when making your gift online. Thank you!