Activity ID



January 24, 2022

Format Type


CME Credit



CME Provider

Massachusetts Medical Society


MedPEP, the Medical Professionals Empowerment Program, is a Free podcast series jointly provided by Physician Health Services, Inc. (PHS) and the Massachusetts Medical Society.  PHS is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being and effectiveness of physicians and medical students.

Regulations, technology, organizational complexity, and the explosion of medical knowledge have created a perfect storm for most practicing health professionals. Physician burnout rates now exceed 50%. MedPEP’s star, Dr. Marie Curious, is a young, primary care internist who has started to fantasize about leaving the profession that she loves. On her MedPEP journey, Marie joins Dr. Les Schwab and a group of specialized physicians, coaches, and other experts, who offer a broad range of practical techniques to help her survive and thrive in today’s tough medical environment. The territory they cover includes nutrition, exercise, getting along with difficult colleagues, dealing with bureaucracy and bosses, multi-tasking, system improvement, meditation, and addiction. The MedPEP journey helps Marie, and other health professionals facing similar challenges, gain insight into practical methods for empowering themselves as well as their teams, employers, and the broken system.

Following up on her conversation with Marie on conflict management, a second conversation with Dr. Jo Shapiro focuses on her hospital’s model peer-support program. There, clinicians facing emotionally stressful situations such as safety events, trauma and traumatic losses, malpractice suits, and medical board complaints are offered the opportunity to meet with trained peers, who help them to express and normalize the complex feelings that arise in these situations. Jo demonstrated the Brigham’s peer support paradigm by asking Marie to talk about an adverse outcome that continues to weigh on her. Marie, Dr. Schwab and Dr. Shapiro proceed to have a moving conversation about the so-called “ghosts” who from time-to-time haunt the memories of many, if not most, practicing physicians. The discussion clarifies the essential differences between informal and formal peer support, and between peer support and psychotherapy. As Marie talks freely about one of her “ghosts,” the relief she experiences in doing so is palpable. Dr. Shapiro asserts that peer support can actually make a physician more resilient after a stressful event, diminishing the psychological wear and tear that may lead to burnout and depression. She shares her conviction that the medical profession should universalize programs of this sort to meet the human needs of dedicated professionals who frequently face significant occupational stresses.

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NOTE: If a Member Board has not deemed this activity for MOC approval as an accredited CME activity, this activity may count toward an ABMS Member Board’s general CME requirement. Please refer directly to your Member Board’s MOC Part II Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Program Requirements.

Educational Objectives

Describe the differences between informal peer support, formal peer support, and psychotherapy.
Delineate the ways in which peer support increases physician resiliency and describe how this may diminish burnout and depression in physicians.


Peer Support, Physician Wellness, Conflict Management, Physician Resiliency


Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Professionalism

CME Credit Type

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Physician Well-being activity

Organizational Culture of Wellness, Personal Resilience

Practice Setting

Inpatient, Outpatient, Rural, Urban, VA/Military

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