Keywordsmedical education: CME
continuing professional development
Special aspects of education
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AbstractThe prevalence of burnout among physicians in the United States now exceeds 50%, with many physicians feeling isolated and lacking in a sense of community. Book clubs among colleagues may be one way to foster community and restore joy to medicine. The authors introduced two book clubs at the annual meetings of the Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and the Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP). Response rates for completed surveys for the SGIM and AAP book clubs were 71% and 86%, respectively. About half of the book club participants were already members of a book club, and had read an average of 10 non-medical books in the past year. Eighty-one percent reported the discussions had "a lot" or "tremendous" impact on their learning, and that they would be "likely" or "very likely" to look for a non-medical book in the future as a resource to assist in their professional growth. Sixty-seven percent said they would be "likely" or "very likely" to organize their own book club. Participants listed the "most enjoyable and/or impactful non-medical book read in past year." Survey responses speak to the impact of book club participation on attendees' professional growth, learning, and recognition of overall value of reading non-medical books. These findings support the role of the humanities in professional development to encourage physicians to challenge assumptions, tolerate ambiguity, appreciate cultural influences, and honor the unique perspectives of our patients. In the increasingly complex and challenging work environment of academic health centers, faculty must find mechanisms to maintain workplace meaning and prevent burnout. Reading a book prior to attending one's annual professional society meeting and participating in thoughtful discussions was enjoyable and useful. When facilitators are thoughtfully prepared to guide conversations, professional growth can result in useful insights related to academic practices and pursuits.