Physician Wellness Program

Physician standing against wall.

Members Only Physician Wellness Program

The Orange County Medical Association and the Cooperative of American Physicians have partnered to create a Physician Wellness Program.

The guiding principle is to provide a broad set of resources:

  • for physicians to thrive and grow in their professional and personal lives
  • which reduce risk of physician burnout
  • which will have a positive impact on patients, colleagues and the community at large.
  • for physicians to participate on a voluntary basis.

The main focus is to prevent burnout and promote wellness:

Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of low personal accomplishment that leads to decreased effectiveness at work. First described in the 1970s, it differs from the global impairment of depression in that it primarily affects an individual’s relationship to their work.

Wellness goes beyond merely the absence of distress and includes being challenged, thriving, and achieving success in various aspects of personal and professional life.

Components of the Wellness Program will include :

  • Physical Health
  • Psychological/Mental Health
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Financial Health
  • Risk Management
  • Spiritual Health

OCMA Members login to retrieve past Physician Wellness materials here.

AMA Steps Forward

Building on its prominent study with RAND Corp. confirming that the administrative burden of modern medicine is a root cause of physician burnout, the American Medical Association (AMA) has launched an ambitious effort aimed at helping physicians redesign their medical practices to minimize stress and reignite professional fulfillment in their work.

AMA STEPS Forward is an interactive practice transformation series offering innovative strategies that will allow physicians and their staff to thrive in the evolving health care environment by working smarter, not harder. Physicians looking to refocus their practice can turn to AMA STEPS Forward for proven, physician-developed strategies for confronting common challenges in busy medical practices and devoting more time to caring for patients.

While doctors are inclined to always do what is necessary to take care of patients, the AMA-RAND report found that the satisfaction physicians derive from their work is eroding as they spend more time on grueling administrative rules, regulations and paperwork than caring for patients. The report noted that many physicians say that the bureaucratic obstacles to providing patients with high-quality care are major contributors to symptoms of burnout, including emotional fatigue, depersonalization, loss of enthusiasm and early retirement.

“Research shows that rates of overall burnout among U.S. physicians approach 40 percent, more than 10 percentage points higher than the general population, which is why the AMA is taking a hands-on approach to meeting their day-to-day concerns through a new online practice transformation series called AMA STEPS Forward,” said AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, M.D. “Physicians can find transformative solutions for their medical practices that can foster professional fulfillment by freeing them to enjoy one of the central reasons they chose a career in medicine - to spend more time with their patients and ensure they receive the highest-quality care.”

Physicians can access the collection of interactive, online educational modules to help address common practice challenges at, and also earn continuing medical education credit.

CMA Physicians' Confidential Assistance Line

The Physicians' and Dentists' Confidential Assistance Line is a name given to a phone line service for physicians, dentists and their family members who request help with problems of alcoholism, drug dependence or mental illness within their families.

When you call the confidential line, you reach an answering service that relays the message (name and phone number) to the on-call physician, who then returns the call. Physicians and Dentists staffing the line are selected because of their experience with alcoholism, drug dependence and mental health and their ability to work with doctors as patients. They speak with the caller and gather enough information to make the best referral to an appropriate consultant. They may also, if appropriate, refer calls from spouses to trained counselors who are also members of the CMA Alliance.


The Physicians' and Dentists' Confidential Line provides counseling for the caller on a completely confidential basis. If the caller is a distressed doctor, assistance takes the form of pre-treatment counseling, referral to an appropriate therapeutic situation, development of a treatment plan, etc. If the caller is concerned about an impaired doctor, counseling/information is given about constructive ways to show concern, how to urge the doctor into a therapeutic relationship, and what resources exist for intervention and referral.

This service is completely divorced from any disciplinary action. If a caller wishes to complain about a physician, it is explained that the Medical Board of California (MBC) is the only agency authorized to take action against a physician's license and the caller is referred to the MBC at (800) 633-2322. If it is regarding a complaint about a dentist, the Dental Board of California would be the agency to contact and their telephone number is (916) 263-2335.

Click here for more information about this service.