PRN SUPPORT:

Physician Resource Network

 

Purpose:  To provide our physicians and trainees with confidential, independent, legally-protected collegial support and resources for life’s inevitable clinical, professional and personal challenges.

A career in medicine is at times demanding and stressful.  Every now and then it is helpful to be able to talk to a colleague who understands these stressors, and the effects that they can have.  It is important that our doctors know that they do not need to face these common difficulties alone.

Everyone can use a little help sometime

What We Do

We can connect Stanford Medicine physicians one-on-one with colleagues who can informally listen, provide perspective, provide resources, and help identify options.

Possible topics to discuss include:

  • distress over difficult clinical events or litigation
  • career difficulties
  • workplace conflicts
  • work-home-life issues
  • burnout
  • patient issues
  • personal or family concerns


We know that at certain times doctors prefer to talk to colleagues over any other group.  We value you and are committed to your welfare.

Who We Are

We are Stanford Medicine physicians from a variety of specialties who have volunteered to be trained as peer supporters.  Although our program is endorsed by medical and administrative leaders, we are independent from the hospitals and medical school.
 

Process

  • Email prnsupport@stanford.edu
    • Emails to this address are seen only by the PRN Support Program Director.    
  • A peer supporter from another department/division will be assigned and will contact you within a couple of days to meet in person or by phone. 
    • You will be paired with someone who does not know you, but who has a similar background.  Talking to someone with a slightly different viewpoint can be very helpful. 
    • Supporters who are peers may understand circumstances in a way that even caring family members and friends may not.
  • Typically, peer support consists of one or two interactions, with resources being sent to you in follow-up.  


We are all part of a medical community of shared experiences. 
We are here for you!


FAQ (PDF)

What can a peer supporter actually do for me?
While we don’t have a magic wand, we can listen and provide support and resources of which you may not be aware.  Doctors who have used the program have been overwhelmingly positive; they have appreciated feeling heard in the context of not being judged, and of receiving practical and helpful information.

How do I know that this won’t get back to my department?
The fact that a conversation occurred is only known by the PRN Support Program Director and the peer supporter, and the conversation details are only known by the peer supporter.  We are not associated with any evaluative part of the Medical Staff Office, SOM, LPCH, SHC, or UHA.  The only outgoing information from PRN Support is quarterly usage stats and anonymous feedback to improve the program.  We uphold the priority of confidentiality very seriously.

Are these conversations legally protected?
PRN Support is a resource provided by the Medical Executive Committee, and as such, PRN Support conversations are protected from legal discovery with rare exceptions. *

Are there any other limits to confidentiality?
As you can understand, we may need to breach confidentiality if there is danger to yourself or others, including substance use issues that put patients at risk; disclosure of child/elder/dependent adult abuse or neglect; and complaints about discrimination, sexual harassment or retaliation.  Depending on the circumstances, we may need to report these issues internally to appropriate Stanford departments, or externally to regulatory agencies.  To speak with a neutral party without putting Stanford University or the School of Medicine on notice about the content of the discussion, contact the Office of the Ombudsperson.  http://med.stanford.edu/ombuds.html

What if I am worried about a colleague?
Thank you for caring about your colleague!  Please tell them that you are concerned, and let them know about the PRN Support program.  We believe it is best if people self-refer.


* Legal protection for the PRN Support program occurs through California Evidence Code 1157, in which the Medical Executive Committee provides this resource to enhance quality of care by supporting physicians with personal and professional challenges.  Rarely, regulatory agencies including CMS, CDPH, the Medical Board of California, and the Joint Commission may ask for disclosure, but since no records of conversation content are kept, there would be nothing material to disclose except the fact that a conversation occurred.

 

 

Contacts

To Access the Program
You will hear back within 24 hours.
email: prnsupport@stanford.edu

Program Director
For questions or more information, please contact Dr. Harise Stein

Business Card
Keep or take a phone picture for reference or referral to a colleague; business cards can be delivered via ID mail on request to prnsupport@stanford.edu

Flyer
Post in work areas; printed flyers can be delivered via ID mail on request to prnsupport@stanford.edu

Mental Health Support
See Get Help section