2021 marks year three of the AHA Physician Alliance, created to help hospital and health systems better engage and partner with physician leadership and to strengthen that voice in the American Hospital Association’s  policy efforts. Events over the past year have underscored the urgency and importance of this work. It’s also highlighted the need for AHA to join the chorus of thanks to doctors everywhere on March 30—National Doctor’s Day.

But our gratitude lasts much longer than one day. As one physician leader noted, “During times of great stress and uncertainty it is often helpful to go back to the basics.” Thank you being key on that basics’ list.

COVID-19 has had an outsized impact on clinicians and clinical practice. Teams had to quickly assess and manage multiple unknowns, redeploy as needed to fight a global pandemic largely on the fly. To help, the Alliance worked closely with its advisory team to provide guidance and resources. At the same time, it was essential clinical leaders find ways to share both heartbreak and hope by connecting with one another to mitigate burnout build support.

Despite ongoing COVID challenges and pressures, the day-to-day needs of patients, communities and organizations persist. That’s why the Alliance continues to provide best-in-class professional development for clinical leaders, such as the Clinician Leadership Experience, resources including the Well-being Playbook 2.0 that support the entire team, and dig deep to bring issues like physician suicide prevention and women’s wellness through equity and leadership to everyone through its popular Clinician Leadership series on AHA’s podcast channel Advancing Health.

All elements of health care share the same goal: caring for patients as best we can. 2020 showcased teams coming together, combining clinical expertise and leadership to care for communities when they needed it most. This is the true spirit of Doctor’s Day and why the Alliance salutes physicians and continues supporting them year round.

Elisa Arespacochaga serves as vice president of the AHA Physician Alliance

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