Blog Archives

Physician trauma during a pandemic →



Video, audio, and downloadable MP3 above. Very brief, highly-edited text below:

I’ve heard firsthand the suffering of physicians during the past 8 years while running a free suicide helpline for doctors. Some experience trauma predating medical training.

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Physician Suicide & Resilience Gaslighting →

An open letter published with permission from a resident physician in the aftermath of a doctor suicide:

“A resident at U of M [Manitoba] has committed suicide. The school circulated and email stating that he died as if it were an accident. If I hear one more person utter the words ‘physician resiliency’

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Brief history of why doctors work 28-hour shifts →

Doctors all worked unlimited hours—unchallenged until Libby Zion’s death on March, 5, 1984. Her dad found her care was left to sleep-deprived residents with no supervision. Legal battles ended in New York’s 1989 Libby Zion Law—requiring doctors-in-training be supervised and limited to 24-hour shifts and 80-hour weeks.

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Hazardous work conditions kill doctors (and patients) →

 

I was invited on to this TV show to share why burnout and moral injury fail to address the underlying cause of physician distress—human rights violations in medicine. View full TV show here.

Doctors have the highest suicide rate of any profession.

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Beloved doctor dies in physician health program. Her husband wants to know why. →

Shawn C. Kelley, M.D., died by suicide under the care of Washington State Physicians Health Program. She was referred to the WPHP based on one unsubstantiated allegation unrelated to patient care. Her husband shares his thoughts and experiences about the program tasked with protecting his wife—and he appeals for a more objective and transparent process for helping vulnerable physicians.

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Top 10 things you need to know about PHPs →

Reprinted from Kernan Manion, MD @ Center for Physician Rights (CPR)

For those who are not yet aware of what PHPs (Physician Health Programs) do, they’re the agency that the state medical licensing board (MLB) contracts with to do its compulsory “fitness for duty” assessments when any concern is raised that the physician may have some significant impairment impacting their clinical performance.

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Physician-Friendly States for Mental Health: A Review of Medical Boards →

Physician-Friendly States for Mental Health: A Review of Medical Boards
Research Project by Pamela Wible, M.D., and Arianna Palermini, OMS2
© Copyright 2019

OBJECTIVE
Do medical boards undermine physician mental health by breaching physician confidentiality and privacy?

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NBC News: The Real Reason Doctors Burn Out →

View on NBC News. Full transcript below.

Medical Resident: Frustrating is way too benign of a word. It’s an infuriating system that we practice in.

Dr. Umut Sarpel: I don’t think most doctors get burnt out by doctoring,

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Physician Self-Care vs. Self-Abuse →

Self-Care vs. Self-Abuse

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook and was overwhelmed by comments . . .

Today I’m celebrating 30 days of weight lifting (with a personal trainer) & back on 100% plant-based nutrition that makes me feel awesome. YESSSSS! I (finally) made the decision one month ago to start taking care of myself!!!!

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Free Residency Survival Guide (& Self-Help Book for Wounded Healers) →

ALL NEW INTERNS: Here’s YOUR FREE COPY of Amazon’s #1 New Release in Medical Law & Medical Ethics! Your guide to SURVIVING RESIDENCY with your heart, soul, and dream alive! No need to struggle, isolate, feel like an imposter, or accept abuse as part of medical education.

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It’s July 1st ~ WELCOME New Doctors! (Here’s your hospital survival guide) →

Today is July 1—the day new doctors begin working in our nation’s hospitals. Do you realize new doctors work 28-hour shifts? Here’s what you need to know: My dog groomer works 8-hour shifts. Over 8 hours, groomers are less attentive to panting—and pets die. My pilot can fly 9 hours.

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Human Rights Violations in Medicine: A-to-Z Action Guide (Sneak Peek) →

Excerpt from Human Rights Violations in Medicine released June 19, 2019.  Dedicated to my brothers & sisters in medicine who have lost their lives in pursuit of healing others.

From sex trafficking to censorship,

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Keynote: Physician Suicide—Prevention & Intervention →

Luncheon keynote (Beware: loud forks & knives banging on plates during first few minutes). Download MP3 or listen online here. Full transcript mildly edited for clarity below.



Dr. Virginia Hall: I want to welcome you to this afternoon’s session.

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Not “burnout,” not moral injury—human rights violations →

Burnout is a slang word for end-stage drug addiction first used on the streets of inner city America in the early 1970s. During that time, psychologist Herbert Freudenberger volunteered at a New York City free clinic treating addiction. He overheard the term and used it to describe himself and clinic staff in a 1974 article on staff burnout detailing long-term physical and psychological job stress.

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Physician “burnout”—a coverup for human rights violations in medicine →

Since 2015, I’ve advised doctors to stop using the word “burnout.” Here’s why.

Each year our best and brightest, most compassionate students enter medicine—a career with the highest suicide rate of any profession. Each year more than 1 million Americans lose their doctors to suicide.

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