Iatrogenic pain—how to heal from a physician-caused illness

One reason physicians were in tears during the 7 hours of support groups I led on my birthday yesterday is they were BELIEVED and received compassion from the peers—for the first time. Sadly, physicians have a bad habit (I’ve witnessed since med school and a gazillion times since) of shunning and even antagonizing human beings at their greatest time of need when they are most vulnerable—especially if that person (in the doctor’s mind) is “not supposed to be” vulnerable and in pain.

Physicians are “supposed” to be in starched white coats, smiling, and ready to serve, not suicidal and on the hospital rooftop. Patients are “supposed” to be happy that their doctor treated them, not having rare, debilitating adverse reactions or outcomes. When a person is suffering (no matter the cause), whether from death of a loved one, poor surgical outcome, adverse reaction to meds/injection, or any other ailment (especially iatrogenic disease = illness caused by a doctor or med system) they should have immediate SUPPORT, never be shunned by the very doctors who are supposed to care.

Med students and physicians have been so brutalized by their training, compassion loss, and groupthink that they can’t seem to generate empathy (for example) for a patient injured by gadolinium injected into their body for MRI contrast. Why? because the patient is “supposed” to be thankful for the MRI and the doctor and is” supposed” to just sign the consent while being rushed into the MRI for their non-urgent exam while being told the IV contrast is harmless and will be excreted by their body within 24-48 hours SO . . . if they have a rare reaction with debilitating fatigue, brain fog (gadolinium is a rare-earth metal that can deposit in brain/other organs) burning sensation on skin, bone pain, headache, vision/hearing changes, skin thickening/ discoloration, they are shunned by their disbelieving doctors (who have never heard of this rare reaction, not part of mainstream medical narrative on gadolinium). Then the greatest assault of all—the vulnerable person in pain is blamed—told it is “all in their head” and they are shuffled off to psychiatry for “anxiety” rather than their doctor being willing to embrace the fact that they were injured by us.

I celebrated my birthday by helping physicians who have been injured by other physicians and by the medical profession (including their trusted mentors) get the help and compassion they need. Doing it again next Sunday. Rather lead support groups that read doctor suicide obituaries of those who died from loneliness and isolation while in pain.

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2 comments on “Iatrogenic pain—how to heal from a physician-caused illness
  1. Barb says:

    Dr. Wible,
    I haven’t been in contact for awhile, but someone shared this very powerful piece in a group for people with iatrogenic injuries, disabilities, and deaths of loved ones.

    For quite a while, I’ve pondered how patients and physicians can work together for the best outcome of iatrogenic injuries that are often chronic, permanently disabling, and extremely life changing. Injured patients often blame the physician for not offering full informed consent, then denying or gaslighting when adverse events occur. Also, as you said, being punted to psych or, BACK to a psych when the drug initially used caused suicidality, anxiety, neuro issues including very painful neuromuscular movement disorders and akathisia, worsened mood, GI issues, anger and rage, apathy, cognitive impairment, difficulty tapering off of a drug due to different and more severe issues than before taking the drug. This happens when psych drugs are used for conditions other than psych, which confirms that it is not a worsening of a psych condition, but caused by the drug.

    How can this disastrous situation be remedied? How can doctors and patients work together when both feel attacked or disbelieved?

    I worked in pharma and understand the “program” and now have a grasp on how much corruption is involved in clinical trials. I know a few doctors and patients that have used FOIA to access studies and trial data that was hidden.

    I’m also married to a retired MD, so I have a somewhat unique view of the situation, but no solutions.

    It seems like both parties need help navigating these situations, but as long as pharma companies and many physician researchers deny or downplay the problems as *rare*, it’s all getting much worse.

    Your post is sincerely appreciated.

    • Pamela Wible MD says:

      I would absolutely love to hear some of your ideas on how to rectify this. With mandates and assembly-line medicine, we’ve lost the healing power of our profession and have become pharmaceutical vending machines. The #1 thing we need is EMPATHY and VALIDATION that we have been harmed and that the person that has been involved in facilitating that harm (through Rx or procedure) make it clear that s/he understands what has happened and will work to prevent future harm. By censoring conversations about adverse reactions to gadolinium and vaccines and other medical interventions, we are creating more pain and trauma and have violated the Oath we’ve taken to do no harm SO . . . #1 we need a space to communicate as HUMAN BEINGS (essentially what I am doing now with 4 support groups every Sunday to help healers heal from trauma by first recognizing how they have been traumatized and now pass that on to their patients. Please read this free ebook (quick 20-min read) I wrote and then email me via my contact page as I would LOVE to speak with you.

      FREE BOOK — Physician Betrayal: How Our Heroes Become Villains

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