Publication date: Jan 18, 2024
COVID-19 unleashed a maelstrom of distress on health care professionals. The pandemic contributed to a host of stressors for workers because of the need for rapid acquisition of new knowledge and skills to provide best treatment while simultaneously dealing with personal safety, limited resources, staffing shortages, and access to care issues. Concurrently, problems with systemic racial inequality and discrimination became more apparent secondary to difficulties with accessing health care for minorities and other marginalized groups. These problems contributed to many health care professionals experiencing severe moral injury and burnout as they struggled to uphold core values and do their jobs professionally. Some left or disengaged. Others died. As continuing professional development leaders focused on all health professionals, we must act deliberately to address health care professionals’ distress and mental health. We must incorporate wellness and mental health as organizing principles in all we do. We must adopt a new mental model that recognizes the importance of learners’ biopsychosocial functioning and commit to learners’ wellness by developing activities that embrace a biopsychosocial point of view. As educators and influencers, we must demonstrate that the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s fourth aim to improve clinician well-being and safety (2014) and fifth aim to address health equity and the social determinants of health (2021) matter. It is crucial that continuing professional development leaders globally use their resources and relationships to accomplish this imperative call for action.