Why belongingness matters in the health professions?

Why ‘Belongingness’ Matters in the Health Professions?

Does ‘Belongingness’ Matter in the Health Professions?

Belongingness, or the feeling of being accepted and included within a group, is a fundamental human need. It plays a crucial role in various aspects of our lives, including our overall well-being and mental health. In the context of the health professions, belongingness holds significant importance for both healthcare providers and patients.

For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and other medical staff, often work in high-stress environments. The demanding nature of their work can lead to burnout, emotional exhaustion, and decreased job satisfaction. However, when healthcare providers feel a sense of belongingness within their workplace, it can have a positive impact on their overall well-being and job performance.

A supportive and inclusive work environment fosters a sense of belongingness among healthcare professionals. When they feel valued, respected, and connected to their colleagues and superiors, it can enhance their job satisfaction and motivation. This, in turn, can lead to improved patient care and outcomes.

For Patients

Belongingness is not only important for healthcare providers but also for patients. When patients feel a sense of belongingness within the healthcare setting, it can positively influence their overall experience and health outcomes.

Patients who feel accepted and understood by their healthcare providers are more likely to communicate openly, share relevant information, and actively participate in their own care. This can lead to better treatment adherence, improved patient-doctor relationships, and ultimately, better health outcomes.

Furthermore, a sense of belongingness can also help patients cope with the emotional and psychological challenges that often accompany health issues. Knowing that they are not alone and that there is a supportive network around them can provide comfort and aid in their healing process.

Promoting Belongingness in the Health Professions

Creating a culture of belongingness within the health professions requires a collective effort from healthcare organizations, leaders, and individual healthcare providers.

Healthcare organizations can foster a sense of belongingness by promoting diversity and inclusion, providing opportunities for teamwork and collaboration, and implementing supportive policies and practices. This can include initiatives such as mentorship programs, employee resource groups, and regular team-building activities.

Leaders within the health professions should prioritize creating a positive work environment where all team members feel valued and respected. Encouraging open communication, recognizing and celebrating achievements, and providing support and resources for personal and professional growth can contribute to a sense of belongingness among healthcare providers.

Individual healthcare providers can also play a role in promoting belongingness. By actively engaging with their colleagues, showing empathy towards patients, and practicing inclusivity in their interactions, they can contribute to a supportive and inclusive healthcare environment.


Belongingness matters in the health professions. It has a significant impact on the well-being of healthcare providers and the experiences and outcomes of patients. By prioritizing and promoting a culture of belongingness, we can create healthier and more inclusive healthcare environments that benefit everyone involved.