Peer Support

1:1 Peer Support

At the heart of our peer support program is a network of trained clinicians who reach out to colleagues who are experiencing stress.

These trained clinician peer supporters will reach out to you if you are involved in any critical event such as an adverse event or being named in a lawsuit. In addition, they are available at any time if you are feeling distress from any cause. This is not therapy. It is for the support and collegiality that comes from talking to someone who has "been there."

There is no stressful event too small for peer support. If you are stressed, worrying or want to speak to a peer supporter for any reason, please contact us. You can email Dr. Jo Shapiro directly ( or contact our offices at or (617) 525-9797. We are happy to refer you to one of our peer supporters. We can also help you access other resources inside or outside the hospital system. Call us. We are here for you. Peer support outreach is private and confidential.

Group Peer Support

Group peer support is designed to bring the health care team together to discuss any type of serious, unanticipated adverse event with the entire care team and EAP-trained peer facilitators.

More information about group peer support is available through the CPPS (617-525-9797 or or Partners EAP (

The Peer Support Service bypasses the stigmas that limit the utilization of formal support services and offers care providers a safe environment to share the emotional impact of adverse events while serving as a foundation for open communication and a renewal of compassion in the workplace. As the breadth of stressors impacting healthcare professionals is revealed, the Peer Support service is being recognized as a vital hospital-wide service. It also appears to offer an important leap forward in the critical areas of patient safety and quality of care.
- F van Pelt. Qual Saf. Health Care 2008

Peer Support

Supporting Departments
Peer Support References
  • Harrison R, Lawton R, Perlo J, Gardner P, Armitage G, Shapiro J. Emotion and coping in the aftermath of medical error: A cross country exploration. J Patient Saf. 2015 Mar;11(1):28-35.
  • Hu YY, Fix ML, Hevelone ND, Lipsitz SR, Greenberg CC, Weissman JS, Shapiro J. Physicians' needs in coping with emotional stressors: the case for peer support. JAMA Surg. 2012 Mar;147(3):212-7.
  • Schwappach DL, Boluarte TA. The emotional impact of medical error involvement on physicians: a call for leadership and organizational accountability. Swiss Med Wkly. 2009 Jan 10;139(1-2):9-15.
  • van Pelt F. Peer support: healthcare professionals supporting each other after adverse medical events. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008 Aug;17(4):249-52.
  • When we err (CRICO Focus, Jan 2008)
  • Fix ML, Weissman JS, Park E, Hevelone N, Shapiro J. Attitudes and barriers to physicians receiving assistance for personal and professional struggles: A survey of emergency physicians, anesthesiologists, and surgeons. Ann Emerg Med 2007; 50-542.
  • Waterman AD, Garbutt J, Hazel E, Dunagan WC, Levinson W, Fraser VJ, Gallagher TH. The emotional impact of medical errors on practicing physicians in the United States and Canada. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2007 Aug;33(8):467-76.
  • New culture for coping: turning to peer support after medical errors., Sept. 11, 2006
  • Christensen JF, Levinson W, Dunn PM. The heart of darkness: the impact of perceived mistakes on physicians. J Gen Intern Med. 1992 Jul-Aug;7(4):424-31.


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH