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About practice transformation

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Physician well-being is essential for high-quality patient care. Through the AMA’s Practice Transformation framework, we provide guidance to health system leaders on how to create the conditions where joy, purpose and meaning are possible for physicians and care teams.

Through our five-step process (Research, Measure, Act, Recognize, Convene) our evidence-based, field-tested and targeted solutions help guide physicians, care teams and health system leaders on developing and implementing strategies to optimize practice efficiencies, reduce burnout and improve professional well-being.  

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For more information, please contact us.


Practice Transformation: Research

As a respected thought leader and convener, the American Medical Association bases its work in practice transformation and professional satisfaction on rigorous research and practice science.

Physician burnout has economic costs as well as financial costs associated with staff turnover, lost revenue, decreased productivity and risks to the organization from lower quality of care and potential for more frequent medical errors.

Previous AMA research highlighted the system-level issues that drive burnout, and the steps organizations can take to coordinate solutions for effective changes.

Our seminal research on physician burnout has shaped our collective understanding of its underlying causes, drivers of burnout, and the impact burnout has on physicians, patients and health care organizations. In collaboration with health care systems, the AMA’s research efforts are aimed at delivering evidence-based, actionable solutions to increase professional well-being. 

EHR research

Research has illustrated that EHRs may largely contribute to physician burnout and frustration. The AMA has partnered with several research teams from around the country to further understand the impact of EHRs on professional satisfaction and to illuminate the promise of objective EHR use metrics to quantify elements of efficiency of practice and teamwork.

Metrics for assessing physician activity using EHR log data: Published in JAMIA in 2020, authors propose seven core measures of EHR use that reflect multiple dimensions of practice efficiency and use cases of these measures for multiple stakeholders. Authors argue that standardization of EHR use measures will foster cross-study synthesis and comparative research. 

EHR-use metric research list of awardees: The AMA has partnered with several organizations to generate and define a standard set of objective measures to assess physician activity through the electronic health record. Several research projects will also evaluate EHR use metrics and their relationship to burnout, professional satisfaction and well-being. The following research partners have collaborated with the AMA to expand our understanding of the EHR and EHR use metrics. Published research is anticipated in 2021.

—Alliance Chicago

—Boston University

—University of Wisconsin Health

—University of California, San Diego

—Yale University

Perceived EHR Usability as a Predictor of Task Load and Burnout Among US Physicians: Published in JMIR in 2020, authors conduct a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey of US physicians from all specialties conducted from October 2017 to March 2018. This investigation found that physicians with higher levels of cognitive workload have higher rates of burnout. In a recent Emerging Topic presentation, Cognitive workload: A modifiable contributor to physician burnout?, authors Elizabeth Harry, MD and Christine Sinsky, MD, discuss study findings and discuss approaches that health care organization leaders can take to address system issues to reduce burnout and promote physician well-being.


Practice Transformation: Measure

Measuring physician burnout, organizational efficiency and team culture is a key first step for health systems to improve professional satisfaction and team well-being. To support health systems in identifying key drivers of organizational stress, the AMA provides complimentary assessment services to organizations nationwide.

Physician burnout is largely attributed to organizational and systemic factors. Therefore, solutions must be identified and developed at the systems level. By measuring, organizations can (1) understand unique challenges to physician and care team well-being in their system and (2) develop strategies and solutions that can be targeted to the distinctive needs of their organization, physicians and care teams.


Mini-Z Burnout Assessment

The validated Mini-Z assessment assists organizations of all sizes to assess burnout and professional well-being.


Learn more

From professional burnout assessments to targeted intervention strategies, the AMA is pleased to support health care systems across the country with guided and validated solutions.

Learn more in the practice transformation toolkit (PDF) or contact us for additional information.


Practice Transformation: Act

The AMA provides intervention support to health systems ready and able to test and share strategies that drive measurable progress and meaningful impact to improve satisfaction and efficiency in their workforce.

Support includes providing resources through STEPS Forward™, access to physician and subject matter experts, webinars, podcasts and on-line coaching and a platform to engage with other health systems implementing similar efforts.

AMA STEPS FORWARD™: Transform you practice

Nearly 60 modules⁠—expert-driven, field-tested strategies to help implement change in your practice.

Not sure where to start? Take a brief 12-question practice assessment to determine suggested modules to best optimize your practice.

Webinar series

The American Medical Association invites you to join our 2021 webinar series focusing on physician well-being, practice redesign and implementing telehealth during COVID-19. Programming will focus on resources and solutions to help alleviate stress on health care systems, teams and staff during the pandemic and guide systems through telehealth integration.

Register today or watch past webinar recordings.


Practice Transformation: Recognize

Representing the AMA’s steadfast commitment to advancing the science of physician burnout, AMA’s recognition opportunities can propel and empower health systems to reduce burnout so that physicians—and their patients—thrive.

The AMA recognizes organizations and practices that have demonstrated strong commitment to improving physician satisfaction and reducing burnout.  


The Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program

Launched in 2019, the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program provides a roadmap for health system leaders to implement programs, policies, and workflow efficiencies that support physician well-being and enhance joy in medicine. This program is designed to empower health systems to strategically and systematically reduce burnout so that physicians—and their patients—can thrive. View the program brochure (PDF) for eligibility criteria and to learn more.

To apply, visit the online application portal. The deadline to apply is May 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Recognized organizations will be announced Fall 2022. For more information about the program, please visit the program FAQ page or watch an informational webinar held in Spring 2021.


Practice Transformation: Convene

By organizing virtual and in-person national conferences and events, the AMA brings together thought leaders and health systems for dialogue, consensus-building and collaborative sharing of best practices for improving physician professional satisfaction.

These immersive, educational opportunities are intended for physician and system leaders, practicing physicians and clinical staff, and academic researchers to assist in their transformation journey.


AMA STEPS Forward™ webinar series

STEPS Forward webinar series

The recently rebranded AMA's STEPS Forward™ webinar series, previously known as the AMA Emerging Topics webinar series, focuses on physician well-being, practice redesign and implementing telehealth during COVID-19.

Register today or watch past webinar recordings


International Conference on Physician Health: April 26-30, 2021

The International Conference on Physician Health (ICPH) will be held five consecutive days from Monday, April 26- Friday, April 30, 2021. Hosted by the British Medical Association, American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association, this year's conference theme is "a vision for humanity in medicine." and will include a daily plenary session, a choice of themed oral presentation sessions and interactive workshops. There will also be an opportunity each day to visit the poster exhibition, connect with other attendees and visit the virtual trade and charity exhibition booths. Recorded conference content will also be available on-demand for up to 12 weeks post-event for registered attendees

American Conference on Physician Health: Oct. 7-9, 2021

The 2021 American Conference on Physician Health (ACPH) is a scientific conference sponsored jointly by the American Medical Association, Mayo Clinic and Stanford University. This event will elevate scientific research and discourse on health care system infrastructure and how organizations can help combat burnout and promote physician well-being. The conference agenda is determined by the abstract submissions for the conference.

Visit the ACPH conference for more detailed information on call for abstracts, registration, travel, agenda and speakers.

Practice transformation faculty speakers

Interested in having a speaker at your event? View the biographies (PDF) of AMA physician experts and contact us with required information.