There&rsquo;s a direct correlation between the physical and emotional wellness of a physician and patient care, according to Jeffrey Fowler, MD. Stress and anxiety are growing issues in the medical field, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. &ldquo;We won&rsquo;t get anywhere by ignoring the problem or sweeping it under the rug,&rdquo; says Fowler, vice chair of the&nbsp;Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the OSUCCC &ndash; James and the director of the new James Physician Wellness Program. &ldquo;We need to recognize and address the issue, and that translates into better patient care,&rdquo; he says. Learn more about The James Physician Wellness Program on our Cancer-Free World Podcast via the video player above or on&nbsp;Soundcloud. The starting point of the multi-faceted Physician Wellness Program &mdash; which began around a year ago &mdash; is an understanding of the problem, peer support and an emphasis on work-life balance. &ldquo;The practice of medicine has become more complex over the past few decades,&rdquo; Fowler says of the growing demands placed on physicians, including patient care, electronic medical filing and administrative duties. &ldquo;It all adds up to time management and stress management problems, and there are a lot of high-stake decisions and conversations with cancer patients and their families.&rdquo; One of the keys is to normalize seeking psycho-social support. &ldquo;The culture in medicine is that stress and anxiety are all part of the job, and many physicians suffer in isolation,&rdquo; Fowler says. &ldquo;Our strategy is to normalize seeking assistance and to also build an effective peer-support program.&rdquo; To connect doctors, The James has created physician lounges and encouraged staff to meet, talk and get to know each other better. &ldquo;These lounges have become very popular,&rdquo; Fowler says, adding that he&rsquo;s been able to learn a lot about doctors whom he&rsquo;s known for a decade or more but never really had the chance to talk to on a regular basis. The program will also create exercise stations that will include stationary bikes and shower facilities. &ldquo;A half-hour break in the middle of the day does wonders to reduce stress and re-energize you,&rdquo; Fowler says. The Physician Wellness Program will also include opportunities to do yoga and meditate. &ldquo;The goal is to optimize the well-being of our physicians and optimize the care they give to our patients,&rdquo; Fowler says.