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Physician Wellness

MSDC joins the American Medical Association and the entire House of Medicine in recognizing the epidemic of burnout in healthcare professionals. In particular, MSDC remains dedicated to providing resources and support to District physicians in their struggle against burnout. For decades, MSDC has provided support and advocacy for those physicians battling addiction. MSDC has officially launched The Healthy Physician Program to advance physician wellness.

MSDC Healthy Physician circle logo_red-lightWhat is the Healthy Physician Program?

The Healthy Physician Program is MSDC's comprehensive physician wellness program that provides resources and templates to address moral injury and burnout. MSDC recognizes that burnout manifests in many forms, and it aims to create a program with a wide range of resources including coaching, counselling, networking, and best practice templates. The program is open to all physicians and is supported by physician organizations, foundations, and health systems.

What kind of resources will the Healthy Physician Program provide?

Over time, the program will include the following components: physician coaching (now available), counselling services (now available), networking events (now available), like-minded groups (now available), best practice templates for practices, and model policies.

What kind of wellness professionals will MSDC offer?

Initially, MSDC will offer certified coaches and licensed psychologists. In the years to come, MSDC will expand its wellness roster to more types of wellness professionals. Comparison of Helping Professions.

What kinds of services will MSDC wellness professionals offer?

MSDC's wellness professionals can address professional needs (leadership development, career coaching, workplace concerns, burnout) and professional needs (relationship discussions, identity concerns, work-life balance).

If I speak with one of the wellness professionals as part of the program, do I need to report it to the Board of Medicine?

No, the program is not a medical treatment or medical diagnosis program. The program offers wellbeing and therapeutic services that do not need to be reported to the Board.

Does the Healthy Physician Program help physicians with addictions?

MSDC recommends physicians with addiction concerns contact the MSDC Physician Health Program.

Click the plus next to each topic below to expand it and learn more about how MSDC is addressing burnout.


One of the best ways to rediscover your love of medicine is to reconnect with your colleagues. MSDC sections and communities are a great way to do that. Whether it is with Women in Medicine, Bright Young Docs, or a Washington Healthcare on Wednesdays webinar, we have opportunities for you to connect with your colleagues.

Learn more on our Events page, or check out WIM and BYD.

Lifecycle for Retirement Readiness session

Imposter Syndrome in Medicine session

Parenting During The Pandemic session


MSDC is offering members an opportunity to speak with a wellness professional to help address professional or personal issues driving burnout. Our list of professionals (seen here) span different specialties, experiences, and background. Speak with the ones that fit your needs, arrange an introductory appointment, and if they can assist you then MSDC will cover your initial visits.

Meet our wellness professionals here.


MSDC educates the public and policy makers on the disastrous impact burnout and moral injury has on the District. Every day we share why physician health is important to public health. Join us and tell your story to key policy makers, to ensure we continue to move the District to become the best place to practice medicine.

DC Healthy Physicians Committee Members  

J. Desiree PinedaMSDC President
Kaylan BabanGeorge Washington University Hospital
David BowmanHoward University Hospital
Philip CandilisSt. Elizabeth's Hospital // MSDC Physician Health Program
Laurie DuncanMSDC Executive Committee // Physician Health program
Daniel MarchalikMedStar Health
Felicea PatelMid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Laura SanderSibley Memorial Hospital
Theresa StoneMedStar Health
Dock WinstonMid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group


MSDC Past President Raymond Tu, MD: The Quadruple Aim - Radiologists and Physicians in the Center

The “Quadruple Aim” has recently gained attention as health care stakeholders have identified growing challenges to physician experience and burnout. Physician suicide is two-fold higher than the general population, and more common with older physicians. [1] Physician resilience, engagement, and work-life balance are recent additions to the patient-focused triple aim of patient access to care, excellent patient experience, and cost containment: don’t waste resources, do good and respect the patient. [2] Though less apparent then facing the sharp end of the medical error arrow, the need for a creative and healthy provider environment should be considered essential to a successful physician experience.


Read the entire article in the American Society of Neuroradiology eNews here.

Institute for Technology in Health Care
This award is supported by a grant from The Institute for Technology in HealthCare, a non-profit organization, located in Washington, DC. The Institute for Technology in HealthCare is concerned with the use of technology to benefit and stimulate others in health care. For more information about The Institute for Technology in HealthCare please visit the website at

MSDC President Asks Congressional Leadership to Support Dr. Lorna Breen Act

May 25, 2021, 10:05 AM by MSDC Staff
The legislation would support burnout prevention and wellbeing resources for the physician community nationally.

Today, MSDC President Dr. EW Emanuel sent the below letter to leaders in Congress asking for their support of the Lorna Breen Act.

May 25, 2021

Dear Senators Schumer and McConnell, and Representatives Pelosi and McCarthy;

My name is EW Emanuel, MD, and I am the current President of the Medical Society of DC (MSDC). MSDC is the largest physician organization located in Washington DC representing DC area physicians. Our members practice throughout this area and likely are your physicians, and your caucus' physicians, when you are working in Washington DC. We are proud to have you and your colleagues as our patients.

I am reaching out in support of the Lorna Breen Act. The Lorna Breen Act is monumental legislation that is vital to protecting the mental wellbeing of physicians.

Dr. Lorna Breen lived in an impactful life filled with helping others. As the emergency room director at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Breen spent longs house and dedicated her life to the care of her patients. Being a physician was Dr. Breen’s identity and she was proud of the career she had created for herself.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Breen had an overwhelming number of patients in need. Hospitals all over the country felt the stress of the pandemic and physicians were overworked, overwhelmed, and burned-out. Nobody was prepared for the effects the virus would bring to everyone individually. With the mounting pressure and stress Dr. Breen unfortunately took her own life. As our colleagues at the Medical Society of Virginia have noted repeatedly, she was a sister, daughter, friend, and a great physician.

With the memory of Dr. Breen comes the need for recognition of her life along with the need to bring awareness to the topic of mental health for physicians. We are all so aware that physicians across the country deal with burnout, career fatigue, and mental health issues. Many fear repercussions professionally, financially, and legally if they were to express their feelings.

The Lorna Breen Act was established by her family in memory and commitment to change. The Senate HELP committee is scheduled to vote on the Lorna Breen Act today. In support of this effort, I am asking you to schedule votes in your respective chambers to allow this legislation to receive consideration and hopefully passage. 

The Lorna Breen Act is the first of its kind and is important to physicians. Preventing physician burnout is a nonpartisan issue, as it saves the lives of physicians and patients. This issue is the type that defines a member of Congress' legacy as its positive impact lasts long after members' terms end. You and your leadership teams can protect your own physicians and those across the country by ensuring this important legislation is scheduled for mark-up and a vote this year. 


EW Emanuel, MD
President, MSDC


Support Your Colleagues

Do you want to help support your fellow physicians going through their own struggles with wellbeing? The Medical Society and Alliance Foundation (MSAF) has created a fund for physician wellbeing. Your generous gift allows MSDC and MSAF to continue supporting those physicians in most need.

Donate here


  • YardsRooftop-dusk
    Taking Health to New Heights

    July 15, 2021 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

    The Yards - Penthouse Pool Club
    Join us on a rooftop oasis for our first in-person event aimed at physician wellbeing. This event is for members only.