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ACEP Wellness Week: The Seven Spokes of the Wellness Wheel

Created by ACEP, the Emergency Medicine Wellness Week™ reminds emergency physicians and their colleagues to take time to self-renew despite working the long and difficult hours they do. The wellness wheel offers a holistic way of considering wellness. We can think of wellness as a wheel with separate spokes. Each spoke is critical for the wheel to keep turning. This perspective allows us to see how these “spokes” are interconnected and contribute to our quality of life we live.

  1. The Occupational Spoke: Think about what gives you satisfaction when working in your ED. Discover what makes you happy to be in the ED. The key is to balance any negative aspects of the job with the enjoyable ones. You will have to find those positives because by human nature we gravitate toward what is wrong first, rather than what is right. This is the time to think positive!
  2. The Emotional Spoke: As emergency physicians, you have to acknowledge what we are feeling, rather than deny our emotions. We may be annoyed with contrary consultants or difficult patients, but we have the power to choose how we will behave and manage these feelings. Optimism and maintaining satisfying relationships with others are key to wellness.
  3. The Physical Spoke: Exercising enough, eating well, getting adequate sleep and paying attention to signs of illness, and getting treatment when needed, play a big role in physical wellness. Emergency physicians who are in good physical shape will reap the psychological benefits of greater self-esteem and self-control.
  4. The Financial Spoke: Being financially secure is a key component to your effectiveness as an emergency physician. Part of financial wellness is to develop a plan by establishing goals such as providing for your family, paying your monthly bills, planning for your children’s education and creating a nest egg that provides for a comfortable retirement.
  5. The Spiritual Spoke: What gives you meaning and purpose in emergency medicine? Is it the art of helping and healing? The spiritual dimension will be characterized by times of peaceful harmony interspersed with times of disappointment, doubt and fear. In emergency medicine, every day you have these experiences which cause us to adapt and bring meaning to our existence.
  6. The Social Spoke: How are you relating to others in the ED and in your life outside the department? Developing effective relationships with colleagues, patients, friends and your families indicates social wellness.
  7. The Intellectual Spoke: As your specialty continually changes and evolves, having an open mind in emergency medicine is critical. Sharing what you know with others in the ED can be stimulating and serve as a way to challenge yourself.

Wellness Wheel Blog

Our goal is to show you what wellness is and why it is so important. Ultimately, we want you to feel better – about yourself, about your family and friends, about your patients and your work. We’d like you to remember, once again, why you chose medicine and emergency medicine for your life’s work.

As a part of TeamHealth’s commitment to physical and mental well-being, we invest in programs to aid in clinician wellness. In 2016, we enhanced available wellness resources through our LiveWell WorkLife Services to help colleagues combat personal challenges—burnout, depression, anxiety, financial and legal issues and more. For more information on this program visit our clinician wellness page, or contact

Show your support for 2019 EM Wellness Week by sharing your photo or storying using #iEMWell19!

Origionally published on January 23, 2018