If you are in crisis or are thinking about hurting yourself, please call 988

Support for physicians by physicians

As the healthcare workforce continues to dwindle and burnout rates increase, it has never been more important for physicians to properly care for their mental, emotional, and physical health. Peer Support Programs like ours have been shown to reduce burnout in physicians and improve overall physician well-being.  

The CMA Peer Support program is designed to provide access to an empathetic network of physician peers who have been professionally trained to support colleagues in need. The goal is to ensure Central Ohio physicians feel emotional and psychological support from those who have walked in their shoes. 

Peer support will occur over 1-2 sessions and if more robust mental health support or coaching is needed, referrals can be coordinated.

Here's how we can help physicians seeking additional support: 

  • Connection with a physician Peer Supporter who has received training by the leading national leading expert – Dr. Jo Shapiro of Harvard;  

  • 100% confidentiality and physician-centric 

  • Quick availability to respond to your request. 

Get Started:

Fill out the form below to be matched with a peer supporter. Or Call 614-385-6660

Testimonials

  • "Too many good physicians have either left medicine or died because they didn’t have someone they could turn to who would understand the challenges they face, to troubleshoot perspectives without judgement and simply to have someone to listen. Peer Support provides that someone – a person who is a physician, who knows, who cares and likely has been in the same place before. A person who can walk alongside a physician at some of the hardest times in their life."

  • "Having been a physician in Central Ohio for over 25 years, I have seen and felt the emotional and physical toll that comes with our profession. Knowing there is a community of people who can help to support fellow colleagues through those critical times is a welcome resource. I am grateful to be able to be of service as a peer supporter for anyone who needs someone to listen."

  • "My interest in peer support stems from my personal experience with medical malpractice. When I received notification it was a dark day and it was consuming. As I contacted my attorney I was immediately told not to discuss my case with anyone other than my spouse. The concept of keeping this to myself was an intolerable and unnecessary burden. Ever since then I’ve been interested in alleviating the soul searching impact that emotionally traumatic experiences bring to other physicians. I believe that an avenue exists in the newly formed doc to doc peer support and I am hoping I can be of some help to someone else.”

  • "When I was approached by the CMA to become a peer supporter for physicians in Central Ohio, my answer was immediately YES! Having a confidential, safe place for physicians to easily access support is a crucial step in addressing physician well-being and breaking down the culture of infallibility and perfectionism so often found in medicine. When we are stressed or have been a part of a difficult patient situation, talking with a peer who understands and has been in similar situations can be so helpful. That shorthand of shared experiences and emotions with someone who can listen empathically and without judgement and direct toward appropriate resources, if needed, can be so valuable to a physician who may be struggling."

FAQs

  • Peer support is intended for any potentially significant emotional stressors including:

    • being affected by an adverse event

    • feelings of isolation/lack of support

    • effects of work on personal relationships

    • emotionally traumatic clinical experiences

    • being reported to a regulatory agency

    • patient aggression

    • issues with the media

    • burnout

    • inability to effectively care for self.

  • All discussions with participants will be held in utmost confidence. No written notes will be taken by peer supporters. Peer supporters will not share information with employers, colleagues or the state medical board.

  • There is no cost to participate in the Doc To Doc Peer Support Program.

  • After calling (614) 385-6660 or submitting a form found on. dotscountrykitchen.com/doctodoc, you will receive a phone call from a peer support physician director within one business day. The director will pair you with a physician who has received extensive training in providing peer support. This peer supporter will reach out to you within 48 hours of being matched with you and will set up a convenient time for a peer support session with you.

  • Absolutely! Because of the conditioning that happens during a physician’s training, as well as stigmas around asking for help, many doctors are reluctant to seek out assistance during times of stress or hopelessness. If you are concerned about a friend or colleague and want to connect them with the peer support program, you can follow these suggestions:

    1. Let them know you are worried about them and that you care about them.

    2. Share that our roles as physicians can be overwhelming and difficult and that you personally sometimes feel the need to reach out for help

    3. Provide information on the confidential and free Doc To Doc peer support program (information found on the CMA website)

    4. Let them know it is common for physicians to feel this way, they are not alone, and an expertly trained physician peer can lend a sympathetic ear and provide helpful resources

    5. If they seem reluctant to seek out help, perhaps you can offer to pull up the website for them, or be with them while they fill out the program form or call the number for peer support

    6. If they decline help (“I’m fine … I’m just tired”), circle back again to let them know you care about them and to suggest the program. Compassion and understanding will help them not feel embarrassed and normalizing seeking out help will encourage them to connect with peer support

  • It is important to note that peer supporters will not engage in any clinical treatment or relationship. Peer supporters will provide support and resources for coping only, but can seamlessly collaborate with OhioPHP to provide connections for mental health or substance use resources if needed.

  • We would appreciate if you could spread the word about this new program to your partners and colleagues! Discussion about Doc To Doc peer support at department meetings, physician lounges, and peer review meetings will build awareness of the program and help to normalize physicians asking for help. A career in medicine can take a toll emotionally and physically. Why not create a movement for physicians to support one another so that we can not only better navigate our careers in medicine, but can also flourish in the process?

    Click here to check out our Doc to Doc marketing toolkit

Resources:

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline — Call 988;
Text the keyword ‘4hope’ to 741-741 to be connected to the Crisis Text Line.

Physician Support Line(888) 409-0141: A national and confidential free support line service made up of 600+ volunteer psychiatrists who offer peer support for physician colleagues. Open 8 am - 1 am EST, 7 days a week, no appointment necessary.

Ohio Professionals Health Program (OhioPHP):  Call OPHP at (614) 841-9690 or email us at info@ohiophp.org

OSMA Wellbeing CARE Service - The Well-Being Checkup And Referral Engagement (CARE) Service is a simple, free, and anonymous checkup of your mental and emotional health.