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Investing in Physicians Is Investing in Patients: Enhancing Patient Safety Through Physician Health and Well-being Research

Brooks, Elizabeth PhD*†; Gundersen, Doris C. MD; Gendel, Michael H. MD

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000318
Editorial: PDF Only

Keeping medical practitioners healthy is an important consideration for workforce satisfaction and retention, as well as public safety. However, there is limited evidence demonstrating how to best care for this group. The absence of data is related to the lack of available funding in this area of research. Supporting investigations that examine physician health often “fall through the cracks” of traditional funding opportunities, landing somewhere between patient safety and workforce development priorities. To address this, funders must extend the scope of current grant opportunities by broadening the scope of patient safety and its relationship to physician health. Other considerations are allocating a portion of doctors' licensing fees to support physician health research and encourage researchers to collaborate with interested stakeholders who can underwrite the costs of studies. Ultimately, funding studies of physician health benefits not only the community of doctors but also the millions of patients receiving care each year.

From the *Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado; and †Colorado Physician Health Program, Denver, CO.

Correspondence: Elizabeth Brooks, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz, 17th Place, MS B119, Room E3352, Aurora, CO 80045 (e-mail: elizabeth.brooks@ucdenver.edu).

The author discloses no conflict of interest.

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