Patients and physicians join forces to promote clinician well-being

Our founder, Jennifer Sweeney, who has served as a non-clinician member on ACP's Physician Well-being and Professional Fulfillment Committee for five years, co-presented recently at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Conference with Dr. Elisabeth Poorman, an internal medicine physician, on the potential power that clinicians and patients can have when they work together to advocate for changes that will enhance their relationships.



Below are a few of her quotes that we wanted to share:


On why we should be discussing how patients and clinicians can work together to impact wellbeing and the health care system:


“I have spent the majority of my career as a patient and consumer advocate. And what I have seen in talking and working with both clinicians and patients, is that we share many of the same frustrations: access, payment, paperwork, to name just a few.
And I believe that together, rather than separately, we can make changes in health care that benefit us both."


On why she decided to form 3rd Conversation after years of working in health care as a patient and family advocate:


“I was continually surprised that a field focused on healing seemed to have so little empathy for the actual humans in health care, particularly clinicians and patients…
It felt to me that the technical and structural approaches that I was witnessing didn’t seem to be addressing issues that I thought were really important quickly or effectively, and those were patient experience and clinician wellbeing.”

What individuals and organizations get out of participating in 3rd Conversation:

“While the immediate goals of 3rd Conversation have been to deepen relationships, shift perspectives, build trust, and provide hope –all very important things – our long game is really about a better system, better outcomes, and really at the end of the day, wellbeing for the humans in the system.
We know that happens when people in the system show up differently for each other because cultures are made up of individuals.”

And some data to back it up:



On what’s next for 3rd Conversation:


“In our next phase, we’ll be testing how to create change by bringing patients and clinicians together to articulate shared problems in a practice or a system and then working together to create change, address those problems, and then evaluating the impact.”

Learn more about 3rd Conversation or let us know your organization is interested in participating

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