Help Your Medical Education Trainees and Junior Faculty Build Resilience Improve Provider Well-being Via Evidence-Based Cognitive Therapy Activities
Burnout. It appears to be an epidemic in both physicians practicing medicine as well as those in training at the undergraduate (UME) and graduate levels (GME). Research studies demonstrate burnout rates in medical students of up to 50%, resident rates vary from 27-75%, and rates in practicing family physicians has been cited as high as 63%. There has been increasing attention for curricula and training/techniques to mitigate and treat burnout. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) revamped their accreditation requirements to more directly address wellness both as part of the common program requirements and at the institutional level. In fact, their most recent meeting in San Diego was entirely focused on wellness and was themed, Meaning in Medicine.
This past year, the ACGME launched their AWARE campaign to better aid programs and their trainees to improve well-being. The AWARE initiative includes a comprehensive wellness curriculum for programs and institutions to implement for trainees, an AWARE app for individual trainee/faculty use, and a series of educational podcasts on wellness topics and mitigation techniques. The curriculum, app, and podcasts focus on evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy techniques including mindsets, cognitive distortions, building resilience, cultivating mindfulness, and labeling/disputing distortions. The app includes an educational video series then educational sections on each of the above sections including details on how to perform these evidence-based techniques and links to additional resources and references.
Previously, here at iMedicalApps we have favorably reviewed behavioral health apps from the Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology (AKA T2) now rebranded as the Defense Health Agency’s Web & Mobile Technology Programs Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Their apps are targeted for both patients and providers and cover topics ranging from depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and resilience. We are big fans of their Positive Activity Jackpot app which is now available for both iOS and Android and uses proven treatments to help patients build resilience and resist the negative thoughts that can cause anhedonia and other depression symptoms. The app provides a jackpot of activities via an augmented reality game that resembles a slot machine and utilizes the user’s GPS/location services for suggestions. Nonetheless, the new ACGME AWARE app is the first and only app that I have seen specifically geared to improving well-being in medical trainees in UME/GME and junior faculty.
The ACGME AWARE app contains highly useful evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy based activities for improving well-being and preventing/treating burnout. The app contains abundant resources from reputable organizations with numerous references to the medical literature.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, junior faculty and program directors/coordinators, and anyone who is interested in improving well-being in medical education.
o Fills a gap for an app for trainees and faculty for provider well-being.
o High-quality videos to illustrate concepts and provide mitigation strategies.
o Available for Android.
o User interface seems laggy at times.
o Navigation of app could be more efficient.
o Most references/publications not linked to PubMed, etc.
The ACGME AWARE app provides UME and GME learners as well as their faculty with an outstanding product to fight burn-out and promote wellness. The app walks users through the background information on mindsets and cognitive distortions, then provides numerous sections on mitigation of these issues via proven cognitive therapy techniques including resilience building, mindfulness, and disputing cognitive distortions. The ACGME has an entire online curriculum (requires ACGME access) and a free podcast for further education and skill-building available. This is a must-have app for trainees in medical education and their faculty.
o 5.0 stars
o 4.5 stars
Interface is intuitive and works either as a step by step through the “curriculum” or users can jump to specific sections to explore resources. Somewhat laggy at times.
o 5.0 stars
App has embedded videos, links to resources, publications, and references.
o 5 stars
App is free!
o 5.0 stars
A fantastic free app for students, residents, and faculty to help improve well-being and learn as well as practice evidence-based cognitive therapies. The app is supported by an online curriculum for medical educators to use in their programs as well as free podcasts. The app could be improved by making it a bit more responsive. Highly recommended.
Device Used For Review
o iPhone 11 Pro running iOS 13.3.1
Available for Download for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.