Wellness Week

Wellness Week 2019

7th – 13th April 2019  #EMWW19

WRaP EM is proud to support Wellness Week 2019. Once again we have collaborated with the team at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the ALiEM Wellness Think Tank in North America to conduct Wellness Week from 7th to the 13th of April 2019. Wellness Week in Australia and New Zealand is proudly supported by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM)

In 2018, Wellness Week (WW) focussed on strategies for improving individual wellbeing.

For WW 2019, WRaP EM aims to evolve the conversation beyond the individual. There is now increasing evidence to suggest that the main factors contributing towards physician burnout lie at the interface where the individual physician and health organization connect3.

One might argue that there is in fact often a disconnect between what organisations want from physicians and what physicians want from organisations. Physician burnout influences quality of care, patient safety, physician turnover, and patient satisfaction. Organisations, therefore, have a responsibility to work with physicians to understand their needs and invest in efforts to reduce physician burnout and to promote engagement as this will directly affect the productivity of the organisation.1

During WW 2019 we will aim to provide health care staff with a framework that might help identify local departmental and organisational issues and then help build solutions. Watch this space for more information. As a starting point refer to:

In 2019, we also want to put the focus on the “P” in WRaP, and we also want to consider performance at an organisational level.

What is optimal performance?

There are a number of ways to define optimal performance in those of us who work in health.

One way to consider optimal performance is to look at the concept in a work-related context only – measured in our ability to give comprehensive, consistent, high quality care across the spectrum of patients that we see every day.

Another way is to view the clinician as a living a ‘high performing life’ –  a life set up to help that person thrive both at and outside of work.

WRaP EM proposes the following novel approach:  viewing the high performer as someone who has optimal work life integration; someone who aims to provide excellent patient care but also has good self-care; someone who aims to have an effective and compassionate interactions with their patients and co-workers but also their family and friends outside of work.

At its most basic, it is a healthcare workers who can keep their patients well and their pot plant well too!

How is performance linked to wellness?

Having the skills to regulate your stress response helps to optimise performance, not only of yourself, but also of your team. Lacking these stress-moderation skills can lead not only to poor performance but, over time, all the negative effects of excess and chronic stress – compassion fatigue, lack of satisfaction from work, burnout, etc. – and that is just on the work front!

At WRaP EM, we think it is of utmost importance that these skills are taught and rehearsed just as carefully as we learn and practice how to insert a chest drain or intubate a patient or run a resus. It would be futile to how to perform these skills if you couldn’t control your shaking hands and slurring words in the heat of the moment.

We want to bring attention to these “non-technical” yet essential core skills during WW 2019 and encourage their development.

Watch this space for more information on the topic in the coming months.


  1. Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, and John H. Noseworthy, MD, CEO. Executive Leadership and Physician Well-being:Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout. Mayo clinic Proceedings
  2. Michael J. Lauria, BA, NRP, FP-C*; Isabelle A. Gallo; Lt Col Stephen Rush, MD; Psychological Skills to Improve Emergency Care Providers’ Performance Under Stress. Annals of Emergency Medicine.
  3. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/07/10/margaret-kay-physician-health-starts-with-us/