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Expanding Our Knowledge of Faculty Well-Being

Badgett, Robert G., MD; Ofei-Dodoo, Samuel, PhD, MPA, MA

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002575
Letters to the Editor
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Professor, Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Wichita, Kansas; rbadgett@kumc.edu.

Assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Wichita, Kansas.

Disclosures: None reported.

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To the Editor:

We commend Shah and colleagues’1 thorough review of faculty vitality in educational research. However, we encourage the health care community to also exploit related research by our business school colleagues. Research in organizational behavior can help jump-start our nascent efforts in several ways.

First, regarding definitions, vitality is one of the three validated dimensions of Schaufeli’s2 Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9). Vitality has been combined with workforce learning to define “thriving” as a desired organizational state.3 Organizational learning is essential to health care as we constantly adapt to changes in health care knowledge and market forces.

These existing definitions underpin carefully validated surveys and benchmarks, such as the UWES-9, which can help identify outlying work sites in need of remediation. In addition, theory-based definitions transcend job type, allowing us to address a larger workforce. Lastly, organizational behavior research proposes antecedents of well-being such as the integrative model of human growth at work.4 When an outlying work site is identified, measuring the antecedents can focus remediation efforts.

The triple aim of health care cannot be realized without a fourth aim, which is a thriving workforce that is engaged and satisfied. For the worker, thriving correlates negatively with burnout and positively with job satisfaction.3 For the organization, thriving correlates with worker performance.3 So what is the best measure of workforce well-being? Further research will hopefully identify which measures best correlate with all four aims of health care.5

Robert G. Badgett, MD

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Wichita, Kansas; rbadgett@kumc.edu.

Samuel Ofei-Dodoo, PhD, MPA, MA

Assistant professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Wichita, Kansas.

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References

1. Shah DT, Williams VN, Thorndyke LE, et al. Restoring faculty vitality in academic medicine when burnout threatens. Acad Med. 2018;93:979–984.
2. Schaufeli WB. The measurement of work engagement with a short questionnaire: A cross-national study. Educ Psychol Meas. 2006;66:701–716.
3. Porath CM, Spreitzer GM, Gibson C, Garnett FG. Thriving at work: Toward its measurement, construct validation, and theoretical refinement. J Organ Behav. 2012;33:250–275.
4. Spreitzer GM, Porath CM. Gagné M. Self-determination as a nutriment for thriving: Building an integrative model of human growth at work. In: The Oxford Handbook of Work Engagement, Motivation, and Self-Determination Theory. 2014:Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 245–258.
5. Bodenheimer T, Sinsky C. From triple to quadruple aim: Care of the patient requires care of the provider. Ann Fam Med. 2014;12:573–576.
© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges