Colleagues Meeting to Promote and Sustain Satisfaction (COMPASS) Groups for Physician Well-Being: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Colin P. West, Liselotte N. Dyrbye, Daniel V. Satele, Tait D. Shanafelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate physician small groups to promote physician well-being in a scenario with provided discussion topics but without trained facilitators, and for which protected time was not provided but meal expenses were compensated. Participants and Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of 125 practicing physicians in the Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, between October 2013 and October 2014 with subsequent assessment of organizational program implementation. Twelve biweekly self-facilitated discussion groups involving reflection, shared experience, and small-group learning took place over 6 months. Main outcome measures included meaning in work, burnout, symptoms of depression, quality of life, social support, and job satisfaction assessed using validated metrics. Results: At 6 months after completion of the intervention (12 months from baseline), the rate of overall burnout had decreased by 12.7% (31/62 to 19/51) in the intervention arm versus a 1.9% increase (25/61 to 24/56) in the control arm (P<.001). The rate of depressive symptoms had decreased by 12.8% (29/62 to 17/50) in the intervention arm versus a 1.1% increase (20/61 to 19/56) in the control arm (P<.001). The proportion of physicians endorsing at least moderate self-reported likelihood of leaving their current practice in the subsequent 2 years had decreased by 1.9% (17/62 to 13/51) in the intervention arm and increased by 6.1% (14/61 to 16/55) in the control arm (P<.001). No statistically significant differences were seen in mean changes in burnout scale scores, meaning, or social support, although numeric differences generally favored the intervention. Conclusion: Self-facilitated physician small-group meetings improved burnout, depressive symptoms, and job satisfaction. This intervention represents a low-cost strategy to promote important dimensions of physician well-being. Trial Registration:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2606-2614
Number of pages9
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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