Bicycling doctor makes house calls for uninsured →

I was kind of innocent back in 1998. A new doctor fresh out of school. I didn’t know about our doctor suicide crisis. I didn’t know about the widespread human right violations in medical education. I didn’t know about assembly-line medicine or big-box clinics.

 I just knew I wanted to help people. And after my first job I knew I couldn’t do that in 7-minute office visits.

So I quit to open an ideal medical clinic in my house—even though I didn’t have much money to do it. I lived simply. I shopped at Goodwill. So I could have the opportunity to care for people who needed me most—regardless of ability to pay. Twenty years later I’ve never turned anyone away for lack of money in my clinic. 

Today I found this old TV news clip. It’s somewhat embarrassing, sort of hilarious and totally old school. Enjoy!

Reporter: Something old fashioned is happening in this South Eugene converted garage—medicine the way it used to be.

Dr. Wible: I wanted to put the emotion and the love and the care back into health.

Reporter: Dr. Pamela Wible opened her Tender Loving Clinic December 5th after working in a number of different practices.

Patient: I’m looking for more of a relationship with my physician . . .

Reporter: And Wible wants to give more that’s why she treats lower income people and those without insurance and those who only speak Spanish. She even makes house calls on two wheels.

Dr. Wible: Here’s my bike [squeaking my pink lamb horn—twice OMG 🙂 ]

Reporter: Her unusual approach is also evident inside the clinic she helped build. Towel bars made from limbs found in her backyard and fresh juice for every patient.

Patient: Yeah, I think it’s really important to have our healthcare needs be more centered towards the person.

Reporter: Wible charges a sliding scale fee with 20% off for anyone who rides a bike to their appointment.

Dr. Wible: In here we have the exam room . . .

Reporter: She bought her equipment used and offers just about every kind of service except surgery and delivering babies and most importantly she says she gives what’s missing most in modern medicine—emotional attachment to the patient.

Dr. Wible: That’s like a huge part of healing—is just to be present and have empathy for someone.

Reporter: Wible hopes her tiny clinic will have huge promise for people in search of a different kind of doctor.

So here’s a poster I made about my first ideal medical clinic back in 1998 🙂

I then launched a second ideal clinic 7 years later. Here’s a newspaper clipping announcing my town hall meetings.

My first ideal clinic led to a second ideal clinic. This time I held 9 town hall meetings and collected 100 pages of testimony. I adopted 90% of what my community wanted and in 2005 we opened the first community-designed ideal medical clinic—now replicated across the USA and even as far away as New Zealand!  Read Journal of Family Practice article celebrating our clinic.

 

Tagged with: , , , , ,
43 Comments

***

3 danger signs it’s time to quit your job →

How to know it’s time to quit your job: Patient wanting refill threatens to be back with a gun. Employer sides with patient. TRUE STORY!

I posted this on Facebook and was surprised how many others chimed in with similar threats. One doctor summarized: “Being an ’employed’ physician means you are totally expendable. In every sense of the word.”

DoctorThreats

Janice Quote

Here are 3 danger signs.

YOU MUST resign immediately:

#1 To Save Your Life

If you (or your clients’ lives) are in harms way you MUST quit your job now—especially if your employer seems unconcerned about the loss of life. In health care organizations that claim to provide compassionate care this is an obvious red flag that they don’t actually care.

#2 To Stop Financial Theft

If the majority of the revenue you are generating is being extracted from you in the form of “overhead,” your money is being stolen. Some doctors are taxed with 85% overhead. That means if you get reimbursed $100 for seeing a patient, you only get $15. Here’s a quick video I made on how I tripled my income per patient by quitting my job. You should quit now and do the same.

#3 To Stop Fraud & Criminal Activity

If you are working in a clinic or hospital that is committing Medicare or insurance fraud by upcoding and billing patients for care they did not receive, your life and license is on the line. YOU are an accomplice to crimes in your workplace if you knowingly continue to participate in them.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
6 Comments

***

Doctor Suicide Crazy Socks Day is June 1 →

CRAZY SOCKS

Did you know that June 1st is a day devoted to raising awareness about doctor suicide by wearing “crazy socks” and posting photos on social media with hashtag #CrazySocks4Docs? Though the concept seems strange, the goal is to normalize conversations about doctors’ mental health. Please listen to my full podcast analysis here . . .

Funky socks? Such a surreal concept when I’ve devoted nearly every waking moment during the last 5+ years of my life to preventing these suicides through writing, speaking, film, TV, retreats, petitions—even running a suicide hotline out of my home. I’ve been on the phone with families in the immediate aftermath of losing their children to suicide in med school. I’ve flown newly widowed women to Oregon for private retreats to help them heal after losing their physician husbands to suicide. I’ve lost nine doctors in my small town to suicide. I was lucky to have survived myself.

Yet I’ve been so frustrated by the lack of serious response and even suicide censorship from many media outlets and medical institutions. Why not address the real issues underlying this epidemic? Could wearing mismatched socks actually prevent doctor suicide? It’s probably the only thing I haven’t tried yet.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
17 Comments

***

Why are so many male anesthesiologists dying by suicide? →

AnesthesiologistSuicideOR

Pamela Wible: I’m sitting here today with mental health expert Sydney Ashland, who co-facilitates our physician retreats. We just came back from our 20th retreat and I’m reading through some e-mails and I’ve got one that I want to discuss with you.

“I’m a male anesthesiologist. I have been battling suicidal ideation for seven years and eight months. I vividly remember the day I was admitted. A colleague came into my locked office and saw me sitting at the desk with induction meds and an IV. My career was over and nearly my life. I know seven colleagues that have committed suicide, all male anesthesiologists.”

What’s unique about men in medicine that puts them at high risk? Obviously, anesthesiologists have access to lethal meds, but it’s got to be deeper than that. What do you think?

Sydney Ashland: I think that our men in general in society are experiencing a lot of double binds and unrealistic expectations, and then when you have a high-level expert, like a physician who is trained for so many years and who is under so much pressure and has so much responsibility, the idea that a physician is going to manage that and succeed professionally and personally is just ludicrous. We’ve set them up to fail and the fact that this anesthesiologist writes about his attempt to self medicate in order just to survive, I hear this all the time from physicians who get into addiction cycles, whether that’s medication, whether it’s alcohol, illicit relationships. It’s all a way of trying to cope and manage unbelievable amounts of stress. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
15 Comments

***

NYC doctor suicides linked to bullying? →

Pamela Wible: I am consulting with Sydney Ashland about the recent suicides in New York City. There were two at NYU within five days of each other—a medical student and a psychiatry resident. Today I received this email:

“Dear Dr. Wible, two residents have killed themselves within a single month at NYU Langone. One of them hanged herself in my finance’s building. The building’s windows were jammed to not open more than a couple of inches after another resident jumped to her death two years ago. I guess they thought this and offering student counseling services would stop residents from killing themselves. A part of me wants to apologize for the last sentence and ward off my cynicism, but I won’t because, as you said, we need to shine a light on medicine’s dirty little secret before it’s too late. There are posters offering counseling services and heartfelt emails being sent to the students, but here’s one thing no one in power to help is mentioning—the supervisors and their bullying.”

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
43 Comments

***

ARCHIVES

Has your dream job turned into a nightmare?

Pamela Wible

Copyright © 2011-2018 Pamela Wible MD     All rights reserved worldwide     site design by Pamela Wible MD and afinerweb.com