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Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, MPH

Junior Rep, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM);

Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth;

In-coming CFAS Administrative Board member as of 2018


CFAS: Tell us about the book you just wrote – and why did you tackle

a wellbeing and medical education topic?

Dr. Pipas: My book is titled, “A Doctor’s Dozen: Twelve Strategies for Personal Health and a Culture of Wellness.” The book stems from lessons I’ve learned from patients throughout my career. When I was first asked to put these learnings and stories in book form, I was hesitant, feeling the stories reflected only my personal learning experiences. But after two years of reframing and rewriting, I view the book as my gift to everyone committed to their own wellbeing, to those promoting health in others, and to educators committed to delivering wellness curriculum.

I’ve been at Dartmouth in different roles for 20 years and my work promoting wellness grew as I graduated in 2011 with an MPH degree. I was sitting among the students listening to the speakers and wondering where the message was in the speech to take a moment and care for ourselves. Our impact on society is based not only on caring for others, but modeling wellness and caring for ourselves. With more and more people feeling the impact of burnout, I felt motivated to share my learnings and write a book. Each lesson in the book is illustrated by patients’ stories, backed by science and inclusive of exercises that everyone can apply in their own lives. A Doctor’s Dozen serves as a wellness curriculum for health professionals and everyone else. I’ve created facilitators guides and supplemental materials for educators which are all available on my website,

CFAS: Talk a little about the work you’ve done in CFAS related to connecting family medicine faculty. How has that been useful and effective?

Dr. Pipas: I’ve been with CFAS through its transition from CAS and I represent the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). My society’s goals include collaboration across academic medicine professionals, and working within CFAS and the AAMC provides an opportunity to realize that goal. Family medicine goals also include prioritizing population health. The AAMC’s networking opportunities provide resources to support enhanced education, research, practice opportunities, and a healthy workforce – all of which are critical to creating a healthier population.

CFAS: You’re getting ready to join the CFAS ad board – what are you hoping to accomplish in a leadership role within CFAS?

Dr. Pipas: My priorities have been promoting leadership training, fostering cultures of wellness, and advancing processes of improvement. In my mind, all our work is aimed at pursuing population health. The health of the population is dependent on the health of all of its members including students and faculty members. In order to perform optimally for others and achieve the triple aim, we must achieve the quadruple aim – by first prioritizing our own health needs as Thomas Bodenheimer highlights. I am excited to play a part in changing our learning and practice environments to support health care teams as they support patients. I’ve been impressed with the expertise and commitment of CFAS leadership and I’m looking forward to bringing my passions and experiences to the table. I’m particularly interested in the work of the Faculty Resilience Working Group and defining a wellness competency and developing metrics to measure wellness at all levels form the medical student to the institution.

CFAS: What are some recent accomplishments from the Geisel School of Medicine that would be interesting to CFAS reps?

Dr. Pipas: We have revised our core competencies and curriculum to include leadership training and fostering personal wellness among students. We’re piloting programs for students and faculty using system improvement frameworks to also address individual improvement. Dartmouth is part of a national collaborative grant to better prepare students as physicians, our efforts are focused on a coaching model to enhance self-assessment of knowledge and skills in a longitudinal, four-year program. Students work in partnership with faculty coaches and maintain a portfolio to monitor and address their personal and professional needs. Additionally, I’m excited to be a consultant to Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business as they roll out their wellness series titled, “Heath is Everyone’s Business.”

CFAS: What do you like to do in your free time?

Dr. Pipas: I love to read, write, and journal and have had more time for these as a recent empty nester. Having just published my book, I’m trying daily to “walk the walk” and model wellness strategies in my own life. I’ve enjoyed doing more speaking and am committed to promoting my vision of healthy individuals contributing to healthy communities.

Newsletter of the National Association of the Acadamies of Science

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