Chief Communications Officer
American Medical Student Association
AMSA garners multi-year commitment from the nonprofit Humanologi Foundation
New deal to support institutional partnerships, making membership free to hundreds of med students
Sterling, Va., March 4, 2019 —Dr. Steven Reich, through The Humanologi Foundation, a nonprofit he and his wife founded to refocus attention on the roles of empathy, humanism and compassion in health care, is partnering with the American Medical Student Association on multiple initiatives intended ultimately to address rising rates of stress and burnout among doctors. Current surveys indicate that more than half of U.S. physicians report feeling burned out, depressed or both.
A practicing orthopedic surgeon for close to 30 years, Dr. Reich was moved to establish the Foundation by the progressive decline he has personally witnessed in job satisfaction among physicians. This is something he attributes to a number of factors, many unrelated to direct patient care. The result? Poorer outcomes and compliance.
“So many physicians are burned out today,” said Dr. Reich. “It used to be that people were burned out after 20 years, then it was 10 — now it’s not uncommon to hear about residents who are burned out.” And this, he adds, not only impacts the physicians themselves but also influences patient care.
“We are expected to be leaders, but we aren’t given the leadership training skills of other professions; we aren’t properly prepared for the roles and responsibilities we assume,” Dr. Reich said.
This type of training is precisely what AMSA provides. To ensure that more students are able to access this essential education, the Foundation is supporting AMSA’s new Institutional Partner Program, for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Reich’s alma mater (’86). This new partnership will provide membership to AMSA for all medical school students at the institution, as well as providing educational resources, training, and programming for their students.
As another piece of the AMSA partnership, The Humanologi Foundation will underwrite a significant portion of the fee associated with a self-awareness assessment, which is available to association members via AMSA. The assessment, customized report, debrief and targeted educational content will be provided to participating students as part of the Humanologi program. The assessment and customized report were specifically designed for medical students by J3Personica, a health care advisory firm that specializes in evidence-based behavioral tools. The assessment allows medical students the opportunity to gain personal insights into their own tendencies and behaviors. And this, in turn, translates to personal insights related to their own behavior; these insights can help them manage stress, better communicate with others, manage relationships and aid in developing strategies for career success.
The foundation will also fund competitive scholarships for students to participate in two separate distinguished medical charity programs: Save a Child’s Heart, which provides life-saving heart surgery for children from developing countries who do not have to access to this highly specialized care; and Shalva, a program which creates new frontiers in disability rehabilitation, research, and inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. To help support and encourage the success of all of these undertakings, the foundation will establish an advisory council in collaboration with AMSA.
“This partnership with Dr. Reich and The Humanologi Foundation will allow AMSA to both continue improving the resources and training we offer medical students while also allowing us to reach more of them,” said AMSA CEO Jamie Thayer Scates. “There is a real alignment between what he is looking to accomplish through Humanologi and AMSA’s work to prepare medical students for future challenges not covered in their many textbooks or in the classroom.”
Unlike the estimated half of physicians who are dissatisfied with their work, Dr. Reich says that he loves what he does and is happy with his career choice – despite the numerous challenges that exist in health care. His aim: to help more clinicians experience the “tremendous joy and value in the life-saving work we do.”
About the American Medical Student Association:
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing physicians-in-training, advocating for quality and affordable health care for all, and building the next generation of physician leaders. To join our community, visit amsa.org.