It’s summer — are you recharging?

Breathe — your wellness is personally important, but important to your patients too.

I hope you have been enjoying your summer if you’re one of our Northern Hemisphere readers (and, likewise, for those of you Down Under — I hope winter is treating you well).

Since I live in the United States, I am living through those long, somewhat languid days where there is a bit more space to ponder and recollect on my professional life.  August — with the onset of American football, and soccer, and the coincident uptick in injuries — is still around the corner.  The pace of my clinic is a bit slower, and I have a vacation coming up.

Summer can be a time to recharge one’s batteries, because Lord knows those do need the backup!!!  The demands of our profession have always been extraordinary.  That is only more true in the pandemic era, and still truer for many of my colleagues who are women or who are a member of an underrepresented minority group. (1,2)

Physician burnout has been increasing over recent decades, with the prevalence of the problem thought to be increasing in the era of the COVID19 pandemic.(3)  Burnout has been associated with myriad problems, including suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.(3)

The preservation of the health and wellness (and even the very life) of sports medicine physicians is not only an essential good in and of itself but is also integral to the delivery of high quality care to the patients we serve.  The notion of the ‘quadruple aim’ has gained increasing traction in the circles of health care policy:  that is, to optimize health care performance we must address patient satisfaction, improve patient outcomes, deliver affordable care, and ensure the health and wellness of physicians and health care personnel.(4)  Simply caring for patients is not enough if we don’t care for ourselves.

And so in this post I ask you — what are you doing for your own personal wellness?

I want to share with you one piece of advice — a resource I have found helpful.  I hope you may be able to use this if the answer to the question was a shrug.

PeerRx  is a free resource and a platform providing physicians a space to work on personal and systems-based wellness.  It works on the ‘buddy system’–using the platform, two physicians ‘join’ and check in on each other on what and how they are doing in the wellness spaces of their professional and personal lives.

PeerRx’s theme — “No one cares alone”–is brilliant.  Too often we physicians have been acculturated to ‘go it alone.’  To work out our problems ourselves.

We can’t do that.  We need the support of others, and the accountability that comes with stating to another our goals and aspirations.

As you recharge this summer, please consider what you are doing for your own health and wellness, and please consider transforming yourself by turning to a resource like PeerRx


  1. Garcia LC, Shanafelt TD, West CP, et al. Burnout, Depression, Career Satisfaction, and Work-Life Integration by Physician Race/Ethnicity. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2012762.
  2. Yeluru H, Newton HL, Kapoor R. Physician Burnout Through the Female Lens: A Silent Crisis. Front Public Health. 2022;10:880061.
  3. Laboe CW, Jain A, Bodicherla KP, Pathak M. Physician Suicide in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Cureus. 2021;13(11):e19313.
  4. Bodenheimer T, Sinsky C. From triple to quadruple aim: care of the patient requires care of the provider. Ann Fam Med. 2014;12(6):573-576.

This post more than most represents the opinions and thoughts of the author, James MacDonald, MD.  Publishing on the CJSM blog platform does not represent endorsement of the resources contained herein.

About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Deputy Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

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