Each October at ACEP’s annual Council meeting, the ACEP Council elects new leaders for the College. The Council represents all 53 chapters, 35 sections of membership, the Association of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine, the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. On Oct. 15, Council members will elect the College’s president-elect and four members to the ACEP Board of Directors. This month, we’ll meet the president-elect candidates. In September, we’ll introduce the Board of Directors candidates.
The following Board members are candidates for the office of president-elect. They responded to this question:
What major challenge does the College face that you would like to make your signature issue for the next three years?
Hans House, MD, FACEP (Iowa)
Current Professional Positions: professor, emergency medicine, University of Iowa; vice chair for education, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Iowa
Internships and Residency: combined internal medicine–emergency medicine residency, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Medical Degree: MD, University of Southern California (1997)
Candidate Question Response:
Physician wellness is the most concerning challenge that faces not just the College but all of medicine. Our health care system cannot afford the loss of talent and productivity that comes with today’s frightening rate of burnout. Improving physician wellness isn’t just about making work-life balance changes to what we do outside the hospital, such as exercise, diet, sleep, and family time.
Curing the epidemic of burnout requires us to change the system and put physicians back in control of their environment. In a 2014 article in The Atlantic, Richard Gunderman wrote, “Professional burnout is the sum total of hundreds and thousands of tiny betrayals of purpose, each one so minute that it hardly attracts notice.”1
Each time emergency physicians feel bogged down by the detailed legal paperwork for admitting psychiatric patients, they suffer one of those hundred-thousand betrayals. Every time physicians scream at multiple hard stops in their electronic health record (EHR) that were placed there only to satisfy inspectors with clipboards and checklists, they suffer one of those betrayals. Every time physicians are denied compensation because their value is judged by an invalid quarterly Press Ganey survey, they suffer one of those betrayals.
Our members want to have sufficient resources to care for their patients and carry out the mission of emergency medicine: the calling to care for anyone, anytime, for anything.