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Peer Support:the unique role that frontline physicians play in supporting one another after adverse events presented by Dr. Jo Shapiro

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(669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 487 552 472


As a clinician, being involved in adverse events can have devastating emotional consequences. How we react to these events – as individuals, colleagues and organizations – has a major effect on our organizational culture of psychological safety, provider wellbeing, disclosure and reporting, and patient safety. Dr. Shapiro’s presentation will detail these effects and address the unique role that frontline physicians can play in supporting one another after adverse events. She will describe the peer support program developed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and adopted by dozens of healthcare organizations. She will describe the building blocks of a creating and sustaining a peer support program, including providing the participants with the rationale to bring to leadership in advocating for peer support program resources.


  • Identify the emotional impact of adverse events on clinicians
  • Recognize the impact this has on a culture of psychological safety, provider wellbeing, disclosure and reporting, and patient safety.
  • Provide a rationale to leadership for developing a peer support program
  • Delineate the foundational aspects of a peer support program

Speaker Bio

Jo Shapiro, MD, FACS, is an associate professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School. She is a Senior Educator for the Center for Medical Simulation in Boston and a Consultant for the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Pain and Critical Care.

In 2008, she founded the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Professionalism and Peer Support where she served as the director for over 10 years. During that time the Center became a model for institutions seeking methods to enhance trust and respect and helping improve clinician wellbeing. She served on the Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the American Board of Medical Specialties and has held multiple educational leadership roles. She was one of BWH’s first woman division chiefs. She serves on the faculty of the Harvard Leadership Development for Physicians and Scientists. She was a faculty member of the Department of Surgery at BWH for over 35 years. In 2019, Harvard Medical School gave her the Shirley Driscoll Dean’s Award for the Enhancement of Women’s Careers.

She is involved in global health medical education and training including Professor of Professional Behavior and Peer Support in Medicine through the academic track at Groningen University Medical Center in The Netherlands; Visiting Professor and Otolaryngology Residency Program Advisor for Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda (in partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Global Health); and having served as a member of the Israeli Commission for Higher Education International Committee for the Evaluation of Medical Schools in Israel. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.

Dr. Shapiro received her BA from Cornell University and her MD from George Washington University Medical School. Her general surgery training was at UC San Diego and then UCLA. She did her otolaryngology training at Harvard, followed by a year of a National Institute of Health Training Grant Fellowship in swallowing physiology.

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