How my patients prevented my suicide (& started a medical revolution)

Today is the anniversary of my suicide survival story—a happy ending to six weeks of unrelenting thoughts of dying when forced to see patients every ten minutes in big-box assembly-line clinics. My lifelong dream of being a trusted, loving family doc doing housecalls was gone. I saw no way out.

Until I told my patients I was suicidal.

I begged for their help. I asked them to create an ideal clinic, even write my job description. I promised to do whatever they wanted. My life sucked. I had nothing to lose. I figured we could all escape corporate medicine together. They were game.

Soon more than 100 patients delivered written testimony. I was SO excited to read it all. We adopted 90% of their amazing ideas and just one month later (with no outside funding) we opened the first ideal clinic—designed entirely by patients. Today is our 14-year anniversary of the most beautiful gift a community could ever give me—the ability to be a real doctor.

Now I do housecalls. I absolutely adore my patients. And I’ve never turned anyone away for lack of money.

Read all about how we did it here.

My patients have not only helped me, they’ve inspired hundreds of doctors to replicate our community clinic around the world. Check out the 2-minute TV clip above (& transcript below):

Pamela Wible says her parents—both physicians—advised her not to follow in their footsteps. She ignored them. But being a doctor was not what she expected. I remember one day seeing 45 patients. After six jobs in ten years, all of them in her words—assembly-line medicine—she ended up in bed seriously depressed. She had an idea—a vision of how she could save other doctors and her career. She decided to host a series of town hall meetings to let patients design her practice. Wible listened and took more than 100 pages of testimony.

Now there’s no receptionist at Dr. Wible’s office, no billing department, not even a nurse.

What do you want when you’re sick? You don’t want to park in a three-story parking garage, and you don’t want to sit in a cafeteria-style waiting room, and you don’t want to talk through bullet-proof glass when you’re sick, and you don’t want to be asked for your credit card and your insurance card and all the things that people are hassled to do when they are not feeling well.

Her overhead expenses have gone from close to 80% to 10% and that means she can afford to spend as much as an hour per visit—making her a better doctor and bringing the joy back into her job.

Wible performs minor surgery at her office and gives patients balloons and other gifts for coming in. And she sometimes barters with her patients for medical care.

“So your practice is so unique that you are exchanging this meal for surgery?”

“This meal and other meals,” Dr. Wible explains.

Wible’s ideas are starting to gain traction.

“I recently opened a clinic called Happy Doc Family Medicine. I wanted to show you around,” says Laura Knudsen, MD.

Dr. Wible is saying she can spend an hour with a patient? How many practices can do that?

She says that is what makes her happy and that’s what makes the patient happy. She says the actually can work. She’s making more money now that she was before and she is doing less work. She saves money by not having any staff. She does her billing using an online system. She says her start-up cost [for her first full year] were only about $3000 to buy the furniture and the equipment.

Meet some of the coolest doctors who have just launched ideal clinics today!

Corina Fratila MD, my favorite integrative endocrinologist in Baltimore!

Tedi Zeng, L.AC, MSOM, MBBS—fabulous doctor from China now with the most amazing acupuncture clinic in New Jersey!

Lisa Goldman, MD, offers personalized psychiatric care for the whole human in Arizona (and Tennessee)! And she specializes in helping medical students and physicians—even does housecalls!!

Want to launch your ideal clinic? You can start up for just a few hundred dollars! Here are instructions on how I launched on day one with only $627. If you want step-by-step help on how to launch your dream clinic, contact me here. You can do it!!

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6 comments on “How my patients prevented my suicide (& started a medical revolution)
  1. Sarah Smith says:

    This is what I shared with my FB friends when sharing this piece: “I’m proud to say this doctor is one of my soap customers! I tried to be one of her ‘customers’ but her private medical practice was full at the time. I traded for her book and I got on some kind of waiting list in the hopes that one of her current patients will move to a different state or drop out but I think I forgot to check in. Suffice it to say that I still procrastinate going to the doc when I have a legitimate reason because of, well, the way I get treated! Now she divides her time between lecturing on the pitfalls of McMedicine and what it is doing to the mental health of the very doctors who are supposed to be caring for us. Good stuff. I highly recommend her blog! She even lets me weigh in on blogs that are predominantly shared/read by physicians. How cool is that for those of us who felt like our voices didn’t count once we entered that blank white and stainless steal treatment room?

  2. Lori Andrews says:

    Dr. Wible,
    I applaud you on your journey and success in this new way of treating patients. I would love to find a Doctor like you and those who have followed in your footsteps. I have MS suffer from 10+ autoimmune diseases due to losing my spleen as a child in a playground accident. I never dreamed I would be in this shape and most of the time don’t go to the doctor when I need to until I’m in such bad shape. I just finished 14 daily office visits because I had double pneumonia to receive IV antibiotics and fluids for dehydration. I suffer from severe depression, PTSD and anxiety, severe pain and debilitating fatigue. I wish you had an online clinic for patients like me. I’m praying for your continued healing and blessings in your wonderful care for your patients.
    Lori A Perry Andrews

  3. Jim says:

    Your interview here is very good. It’s a good representation of who you are and what your is all about. People just need to watch this if they don’t have time to browse your entire website.

    “Redefining Medicine with special guest Dr. Pamela Wible”

    You look authentic, professional, passionate, and with a sense of purpose. Somebody that deserves respect and attention.

  4. Hi Pamela, you are a brave woman. What you experience before is your past that worth to remember and learned from it. Even Doctors has something to figure also in terms of their overall health. A healthy Doctors is a good example for any Patients who are sick. As a return, you are more connected with your community and living now with your real purpose. I salute you Mam…

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