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AMA highlights mental health resources for physicians during COVID-19


The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced resources available to help physicians cope with increased levels of distress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The curated resources build on the AMA’s ongoing efforts to ensure physicians and other frontline health care professionals have access to the latest news and information in a rapidly changing environment, including tools to manage their own mental health and well-being as they continue caring for patients.

“Just as airlines remind passengers to put on their own oxygen mask before helping others in the event of an emergency, so too should physicians attend to their own mental health and well-being while caring for their patients. This reminder is more important than ever as the emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is significant enough to overwhelm even the most seasoned physicians and health care workers,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “Our new mental health resources offer recommendations and strategies that physicians can deploy to help alleviate the immense pressure they’re facing. In turn, this will enable them to deliver the best care possible to their patients, including those impacted by COVID-19.”

A summary of resources available to physicians includes:

  • The new mental health resources page giving specific recommendations on how physicians can take care of themselves, their staff and their patients.
  • An AMA offer available for all U.S. health care professionals for subscriptions to Headspace – a mindfulness and guided meditation app – that gives personnel who work in public health settings free access to Headspace Plus through 2020.
  • A new Caring for our caregivers during COVID-19 guide for health system leadership to consider in support of their physicians and care teams during COVID-19.  The guide provides practical examples and strategies to encourage well-being and improve physician satisfaction. The guide includes valuable strategies that address workload redistribution, institutional policies, meals, childcare, attention to emotional and mental well-being, and connecting with others.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the AMA supports physicians in their care of patients by providing timely advocacy to policymakers and by providing evidenced-based tools, resources and information. These efforts include:

  • Publishing an AMA COVID-19 online resource center for physicians and a COVID-19 FAQ to help physicians prepare their practices, address patient concerns, and provide answers to physicians’ top questions.
  • Providing a comprehensive overview of the coronavirus by the JAMA Network™ – including epidemiology, infection control and prevention recommendations – available for free on its JN Learning website.
  • Mobilizing a dramatic increase in the nation’s telemedicine capacity through its advocacy and publication of the Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice, a new resource to help physicians implement remote care.
  • Advocating to policymakers about urgent administrative and legislative needs to ensure that hospitals, health systems, physicians and nurses are viable and directly supported for preparedness and response.

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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