Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb: His Life & Legacy →

 

๐Ž๐ง ๐๐ก๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐š๐ง ๐’๐ฎ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐๐ž ๐€๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐š๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ง๐จ๐ซ ๐ƒ๐ซ. ๐ƒ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง๐-๐–๐ž๐›๐›โ€”๐ก๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ซ๐จ๐ค๐ž๐ง ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐š๐ฒ ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ข๐ž๐ โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿฉน Chief of Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb had the lowest mortality rate of all US pediatric surgeons at 1.8%! Read more ›

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Physician trainees prevail in strike over harassed doctor’s suicide →

 

Dr. Omkar, 30-year old pediatrician trainee died by suicide after years of alleged racial harassment by head of department. Dr. Omkar is from a lower caste tribe, the only son with 2 younger sisters. Elder sister just married the day prior to his suicide. Head of department denied him leave for the wedding even though his peers agreed to cover his shifts. He was found hanging from the hospital dorm ceiling fan with the dupatta heโ€™d bought as a wedding gift for his sister. (Most doctors in India choose this same method of suicide to end their pain). Read more ›

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Second victim syndrome suicide →

Remembering Nurse Hiatt & Baby Kaia on the anniversary of a medical error that led to her loss of life. Kim Hiatt, a NICU nurse, was accused of caring โ€œtoo muchโ€โ€”until September 14, 2010, when she gave 1400 rather than 140 mg of CaCl) to a frail 8-month-old, whom sheโ€™d cared for many times & was close to the familyโ€”who forgave her. Devastated, she admitted her mistake immediately. Read more ›

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Why doctors don’t get mental health care →

As doctors, we deal with things youโ€™d never want to seeโ€”mangled teens in car wrecks, new moms diagnosed with cancer, child abuse, and more. So much trauma leads to PTSD. No surprise we have a high suicide rate. Weโ€™re three times more likely to die by suicide than our patients. And (hereโ€™s the kicker) weโ€™re PUNISHED if we seek help. Read more ›

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Blaming “difficult” patients for lack of informed consent →

A surgeon asked me to share her story of blaming โ€œdifficultโ€ patients for lack of informed consent.

When I was a surgery resident, I saw a severely ill hospitalized man who needed a leg amputation and our attending surgeon and senior surgery residents never adequately explained to him why he needed surgery. Each morning on rounds, they kept asking him if he was ready for a leg amputation. Our patient would cry and say he didnโ€™t want his leg chopped off. . . he didnโ€™t know why it was necessary. The surgery team treated him with disgust . . . labeled him as a difficult patient and just walked out of the room. I think itโ€™s extremely dangerous when doctors label patients as difficult or crazy. Everyone was calling him crazy. He was not known to have psych disorders. . . They said there is no point in even talking with him because he is completely unreasonable. Itโ€™s a very normal emotion to be scared about an amputation. Yet calling him difficult and bipolar stopped our team from conversing with him. . . .

Finally he asked me if I could explain why he needed surgery. I promised him I would. I talked to our attending surgeon and told him our patient was open to life-saving surgery; simply that he did not know what the surgery entailed, and that he was refusing because he was scared. I asked if the attending surgeon would talk to him and he said, โ€œNo.โ€ He said if I wanted to I could, but then he also reprimanded me for staying in the hospital too long and being an inefficient doctor. At 9 pm, after I was finally done with my tasks, I sat with our patient and brought a copy of his angiogram so I could explain why he needed surgery. It was inappropriate for me as the junior resident to be the one telling him but I did my best . . . He was so thankful I spent time explaining his condition. When he understood the pros and cons and risks of surgery he decided to proceed with amputation the next morning (he could have died from gangrene otherwise). I told my seniors about my conversation. I was never thanked for my work. They just kept calling him โ€œbipolarโ€ for supposedly changing his mind.

WHY do doctors act this way?

With no labor law protection and no mental health care (& punishment if we seek help), some surgeons working 100-hour weeks just go numb from all the suffering. Cut off from our own emotions, doctors make fun of patients who still have emotions as โ€œsensitiveโ€ or โ€œcrazy.โ€ And ridicule peers who spend time with them as โ€œinefficient.โ€ Dehumanizing others is our defense mechanismโ€”to avoid feeling our own pain. Because If we could feel our pain, weโ€™d be flooded by a tsunami of tears that would incapacitate us. Doctors (over the years) have actually told me theyโ€™ve lost the ability to cry, so maybe our cries for help come out as ridicule, insensitivity, and bullying.

“If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who never cut you.”

Full conversation with surgeon here.

Dr. Wible’s article on informed consent

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