Thinking through physician wellness
“Wellness” is all the rage. You can’t stream a TV show, scroll through a social media stream, or drive down a city street without seeing an ad or testimonial on the importance of “wellness” or “self care.”
But for physicians, “self” care is decidedly more complicated.
Because of the stigma surrounding mental health treatment, many physicians are hesitant to ask for help or even admit they’re struggling. Many may fear scrutiny by medical boards and credentialing bodies over mental health issues. For those who seek help, the demanding nature of the medical profession can make it difficult to find the time for treatment.
These roadblocks are not easily overcome, which is why many physician wellness programs fall flat. Pizza in the breakroom or CMEs on resiliency only seem to gloss over entrenched issues.
Recognizing the need for more thoughtful solutions to physician wellness issues, TMLT is partnering with the Travis County Medical Society to bring their Safe Harbor Counseling Program to physicians across Texas.
Safe Harbor was created to help clear the roadblocks many physicians face when seeking help. It offers physicians a way to find counseling services without the fear that their employer, practice partners, or medical board will find out that they’ve accessed it.
TMLT will pay for up to four visits with the Travis CMS network of counselors for any policyholder (four visits for an individual physician and four visits for his or her spouse). Policyholders will have access to the program as their policy renews in 2023, beginning with May renewals. Those renewing their policies will be sent information on how to access to the program.
Counseling sessions are conducted by Travis CMS-vetted, doctorate-level counselors. The sessions are not reportable; no diagnosis is made; no insurance is billed.
Wellness program sessions do not require reporting to the Texas Medical Board or to credentialing entities. Because access to the program is confidential, there is no identifying information shared between TMLT, the counselors, and the Travis CMS Wellness Program.
The Travis CMS Safe Harbor Program has been providing direct, meaningful help to physicians since 2017.