For Providers

Physician Peer Support

Physicians are most likely to become stressed and isolated after an adverse vent, unexpected outcome, receiving notice of an impending lawsuit, experiencing workplace violence or personal issues. Research has shown that physicians who have confidential support by trained peers are more likely to recover and even thrive after an adverse event compared with those who suffer lone. The support team engages in training which focuses on listening skills, attention to cues on coping abilities and giving feedback. Peer supporters will also have resources to share, coaching, counseling and psychiatric referrals, depending on the individual's needs.

Who are physician peer supporters?

Peer supporters are your colleagues. They are volunteer faculty and house staff who have been trained in techniques that have been shown to be beneficial.

How confidential are the conversations?

Peer supporters do not discuss your situation or share your conversation with anyone. One exception to confidentiality is a concern for your safety.

What does the peer supporter know about my situation?

The peer supporter will be given your name and contact number. By receiving this, they know you were involved in some type of adverse even, but no other information is shared. Their focus is on you and your well-being, not the event.

What do we talk about?

Peer supporters can help you reflect on how you are coping and provide perspective. These are individuals who have been through difficult times. It is often helpful to know you are not alone. Supporters have a variety of resources they can share with you depending on your needs.

What is I know the peer supporter and would rather talk to someone anonymously?

Attempts are made to match supporters by medicine or surgery/procedure level of experience and service. You are free to contact the program director to assign another person to you.

Why talk to a peer supporter rather than a familiar colleague?

Familiar colleagues can be helpful and are part of your support team.

Also consider:

  • Peer supporters are trained for this situation with appropriate listening and reflection skills. They are aware of what you might experience now and in the future.
  • Supporters may be able to offer a fresh perspective.
  • Supporters are aware of a variety of resources that may be helpful.
  • Supporters have access to discreet 24/7 psychiatric back-up to connect you to formal counseling or coaching as needed.
  • Talking to someone who understands the pressure, but does not know you, may make the conversation easier.

Adverse clinical events

Adverse clinical events affect physicians, their teams, families and patients. Experiencing a difficult situation can lead to physical, mental and functional issues such as second guessing, lack of energy, sleep, disorders and difficulty concentrating.

Physicians often feel alone, ashamed and isolated as they attempt to cope with this on their own. These events impact everyone they encounter, including patients.

Physician peer support can help stop the downward spiral that often occurs.

Contact Peer Support

Peggy Nowak, M.D.
Physician Wellness & Peer Support
Office: 947-522-1941
Contact Dr. Nowak

General contact
Office: 947-522-3091

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