The character assassination of Jacob Neufeld, M.D.

Highlight reel above (transcript below). Full interview here.

Rabbi Weissman: Welcome Dr. Wible. I appreciate you burning the midnight oil literally to join us today. I found out about you because I heard about a very shocking story recently. I’m on Brucha Weisberger’s email list. She has a Substack with many thousands of followers. She’s been doing great work posting what’s going on in the medical world. She shared an article from Frontline News about Dr. Jacob Neufeld, who I had not heard of (Fun fact: Turns out Rabbi Weissman is close friends with Dr. J’s first cousin! They even started an organization together). He seems to have been a very, very special man, a children’s doctor who cared very deeply about his patients. And the story was so horrific and shocking, and it takes a lot to shock me today. I needed to look into it further and I stumbled upon your website. You’ve taken up his cause. His story is not an isolated one, unfortunately, but it’s a widespread problem of good doctors, and there are good doctors out there today that are very dedicated to their patients very dedicated to doing things properly, who are literally being driven to take their own lives. So can you please first start off by telling us a little bit about yourself, how you’ve gotten into the field of studying doctors and suicide? And then we’ll talk more about the story of Dr. J.

Dr. Wible: I am a family physician and suicidologist now as a result of 12 years immersed in this topic. Both of my parents are physicians. I’m Jewish by the way. I’m 56, so I’ve had more than half a century watching the medical profession devolve, having gone to work with my parents as a child, seeing how we have now turned this into an assembly-line operation that’s lacking true informed consent and freedom of speech, that harms these humanitarian idealists. I don’t know if you’ve ever met a pre-med student. They’re really excited. They’re ready to save the world. Their eyes are bright and glowing. But a few years later, they look dead. You can’t see any soul inside of them. They’ve been usurped by this our-way-or-the-highway medical hierarchy. And if they don’t submit to what their hospital or medical organization wants them to do, they get in the way of the money flow, they will be dealt with accordingly. There are a lot of ways to character assassinate physicians. How did I get into this? I was suicidal myself as a victim of this when I was in a job that just wanted me to produce numbers and revenue and they didn’t really care about quality. I started to witness many of my colleagues dying by suicide. For whatever reason, I seemed to be the only one who wanted to research why. Everyone else just turned their heads and tried to pretend like these were isolated incidents. There were three in my small town in Oregon within a year, and that means 10,000-plus patients in my town don’t have a doctor. Couldn’t get the newspaper, this is back in 2012, to report on it. I couldn’t get the TV station to report on it. So I appointed myself to start reporting on something that nobody seemed to want to talk about. I took an oath to do no harm. I took an oath to end human suffering as much as I can, so I considered it my job to research why my colleagues were dying.

Rabbi Weissman: So I want to talk a little bit more about the case of Dr. J. You’ve written a long article about it. Frontline News also had a lot of details about the story and they portray him as really a hero who cared so deeply about the children he was taking care of. And he was a specialist in his field. The problem was he had such a massive workload, breaking under the pressure of caring for all of these people. He was promised that there would be other doctors as well sharing the responsibilities. The hospital seemed to have reneged on this promise, and when he blew the whistle on them, they essentially drove him to kill himself.

Dr. Wible: That hospital tried to buy out a bunch of the other clinics in town and put the other hospital at a disadvantage. They lost, I believe, an antitrust case. They were $25 million in the hole, and they decided to just extract this as much as possible out of these very good doctors working for them. So they were forcing Neufeld to see three severely ill children per hour. He deals with severely injured children, wheelchair bound, bullet wounds to the spine, cerebral palsy. Can you imagine trying to treat these families and the children who are severely injured three per hour? He couldn’t do it. He was doing house calls with no help from any other doctors because a lot of them just fled the system. When things get tough, a lot of doctors just flee. He’s not that type of guy. He stayed in a very understaffed situation, continued to try to work with integrity. As a result, he wore himself out. They breached his contract. When he brought this up to them over the years, “Please bring in more staff,” instead of helping him, they retaliated against him and character assassinated him and sent him, this is the crux of the matter, to a physician health program. And it sounds lovely to go to a physician health program except they’re really disciplinary and punishment oriented, kind of like getting sent to the gulag. And they sent him more than 2,000 miles away for a psychiatric evaluation (aka character assassination) that he did not quite understand until he was there. And that of course drove him over the edge.

Rabbi Weissman: One of the lines that really stood out to me in the article that you wrote was he was being psychologically groomed to accept the unacceptable.

Dr. Wible: Physician health programs were originally started (as many organizations) with a beneficent purpose, originally for doctors who are in recovery for substance abuse being helped by other doctors in recovery for substance abuse. But then they found, “Wow, we could really make a lot of money because these people really want their licensure and we’re protected by the state.” State boards need a place to send addicted doctors or doctors that are considered “bad.” Problem is hospitals protect doctors who are increasing the money flow such as truly bad doctors doing unnecessary surgery. While they harass the doctors with high integrity who might be doing things that decrease money flow. Doctors who put people over profit are at a disadvantage and doctors who put profit over people are protected. This is a nice convenient trashcan where you can send these “bad doctors” who are not holding the party line. You get sent to a place where you’ll be polygraphed. Sometimes they shave your pubic hair (if you can believe that) to check for drugs. You wouldn’t believe what they do in these places, very demeaning. You’re in The Twilight Zone. You can’t even explain to other people what’s happening. Jacob Neufeld’s family did not really even understand. He died seven years ago. His family didn’t really understand exactly what happened to him until I wrote this piece. It’s so unbelievable that even your own family members don’t understand what’s happening up to your death and after your suicide. He was certainly driven to suicide.

Rabbi Weissman: One of the things that really struck me as I’m reading the story, is when they talk about they’re going to send them to this psychiatric ward, I wanted to scream, “No, no, don’t go.” But from the outside looking in after certainly in hindsight, it all seems obvious what was happening to him. But in the moment, as he’s going through this slowly step-by-step, I guess every step seemed logical. Even if it wasn’t entirely logical, it was close enough that he felt maybe if I just take this next step, all these problems will go away. Is that fair to say?

Dr. Wible: Yeah, that’s fair to say. It’s psychological grooming. It’s like you would groom anyone to end up in a criminal outfit. Like a date rape drug. “Just have a little bit of this,” and then you wake up unconscious and naked somewhere and you’re like, “How did I end up here?” These people repeat over and over again, “Just sign here. We’ll get you back to work. We’ll advocate for you” like sweet talk seduce you into this thing. And by the time you sign, which is very early on, there’s no way out. Once you sign that you’re going to enroll with them, you’re in and you can’t get out.

Rabbi Weissman: If I were to imagine a medical system run by actual Nazis, or at least people who follow very closely in their footsteps, it would strongly resemble something like this. These nice Germans saying, “Please go into this ghetto. You’ll be much safer there. Go onto the train. We’re taking you to a safe place. Go take the shower from the train. We’ll get you all cleaned up.” Everything seems nice. Maybe in the back of your mind it’s a little bit disturbing, but it’s somewhat logical and you want to believe that they’re looking out for your best interest and really they’re marching you to your own death.

Dr. Wible: Correct. A quote from one gentleman who died by suicide under this situation in a physician health program. He said, “I didn’t kill myself. They killed me. I just finished the job.”

Rabbi Weissman: And that’s actually the perfect crime. This is the perfect murder. Correct me if I’m wrong, it doesn’t seem from my standpoint that there’s any legal recourse because they can all say, “We’re following the procedure. We saw warning signs. We were looking out for his health and the health of his patients.” And in the end, he’s the one who did the act of taking his own life ultimately. It’s the perfect crime, although it was highly planned and coordinated.

Dr. Wible: Exactly. Everyone that plays any minor role in this, in cubicles handing him to the next person, to the next person, just like with the trains, “I just keep the trains running. It’s not my fault that they are at the gas chamber.” So everyone’s just doing their little paid bureaucratic job. This is really bureaucrats practicing medicine without a license. Like war crimes, this is a war on the soul of physicians, especially in the United States, but these programs also exist in Canada. Every country has their own way of dealing with dissident doctors who stand up for patient safety.

Rabbi Weissman: Reading the articles, it seems that part of what made Dr. J vulnerable to this was that he himself was a very sweet and trusting person. I got the impression he was like a child himself. He was obviously an expert in his field, but he had this childlike quality of innocence and trust that made him connect well with children, but it didn’t help him when he was dealing with monsters. Trusting that just because he had a good soul and he cared about the patients, he just naturally assumed that everybody else around him was the same, and they were not.

Dr. Wible: Exactly, like playing chess with criminals. You’ve got on one side the humanitarian idealist physician like Dr. J. And on the other side, you have lawyered-up hospitals, medical institutions, and administrators——a whole row of lawyers on their side of the chess board. And lawyers have to think like criminals. That’s their job because they have to have a criminal mind to be a good lawyer. Doctors have to think like humanitarians and have an open heart and soul and high ethics to do their job. So just imagine a doctor playing chess with criminals. And you don’t get the handbook on how to play chess ahead of time and look who you’re playing against. Who do you think is set up to win?

Rabbi Weissman: Dr. J did consult with a lawyer at one point in the process. Did he receive to your knowledge any guidance in how to navigate what was happening?

Dr. Wible: I don’t know exactly all the details, but I do believe that he called his lawyer when he was ambushed in a meeting where they were going to give him a contract with a 30% pay cut and perpetual call, meaning you’re on call 24/7 every second of the day for all disabled children in the state of Idaho because he was the only pediatric physiatrist in the whole state. Idaho is the state with the greatest degree of physician shortage in the whole United States, so he really had a lot of kids to take care of. They were basically trying to force him out because his integrity is so high for these children. Imagine from his perspective, if he left the state of Idaho and allowed them to push him out, that’s thousands of children that would get no care and possibly die. And he couldn’t live with himself knowing that he would be basically abandoning these children to have no doctor. Ambushed in this meeting, all these administrators there that basically said, “You’ve got one choice, either sign this contract or we’re sending you to a psychiatrist to have an evaluation for impairment even though we’ve caused it by giving you an unsustainable working condition.”

Rabbi Weissman: Mafia essentially gave him an offer that he couldn’t refuse, either get a pay cut and be worked to the bone, literally be worked to death and driven crazy, or abandon the children.

Dr. Wible: He did call his attorney once he realized he was being ambushed, and his attorney, I understand, answered the phone and he left it on in his pocket. I don’t have a recording of that. He was savvy enough over the years to get an attorney. But again, it’s pretty tenuous because now you’re in an adversarial relationship with your employer and that leads to a another bag of tricks.

Rabbi Weissman: Let’s say you were able to go back in time and to insert yourself to any point of this story, what would you have advised Dr. J how to handle what was happening in the actual moment?

Dr. Wible: He should never sign anything to put him under the care of criminals breaching your federal rights, the physician health program. It’s very dangerous when somebody forces you to do something with false urgency. Have you noticed that?

Rabbi Weissman: I’ve noticed that several times over the last few years how the governments and the media have tried to keep us in panic and fear, sure.

Dr. Wible: Do not succumb to false urgency. I would’ve walked out of the room and I would’ve said, “I need to think about this and I need to talk to a few people.” That’s it. It would’ve been good if he reached out to other people who’ve been through this before. There are many doctors out there who’ve been through this and are still breathing. They could have given him some insight. I think the isolation and falling into that false sense of urgency of signing your life away was step one in his death.

Rabbi Weissman: There’s a principle that I have that has guided me very well, especially over the last few years, and that is the best way to get me not to do something is to pressure me to do it.

Dr. Wible: Right.

Rabbi Weissman: I think that everybody should really think twice. When somebody’s pressuring you to do something, it’s not because they care about you and it’s your own best interest that they have in mind, regardless of where you find yourself.

Dr. Wible: Exactly.

Rabbi Weissman: If people are not giving you time to think, they’re not allowing you to call a friend or a resource for more information, they’re not looking out for your best interests.

Dr. Wible: We take an oath to give informed consent. Informed consent is required. Before you sign anything, get out your reading glasses and read the fine print.

Rabbi Weissman: What else could you have done differently? And I don’t want to sound like I’m blaming the victim because again, it seemed like he was trapped in some kind of a vortex at some point where he really just didn’t have any real way out. But again, this is not an isolated case. So there are other doctors, medical students who may be listening to this, or family and friends, colleagues. What are some of the warning signs early on that this grooming, character assassination might be going on? What can people do to notice the warning signs and to get the appropriate help?

Dr. Wible: Number one, physicians are really good at documenting when it comes to patient care. We’re not good at documenting the assaults on our own humanity. When you start a job or a residency program, start documenting. Your gut will tell you, “This doesn’t feel right.” I had a neurosurgeon, a resident tell me (who quit her neurosurgery residency) because she felt she was being an accomplice to homicides, unnecessary surgeries on people. And so these are things you need to document (not necessarily with the patient name, but maybe initials) because if you don’t have the documentation as to the time and date these things have happened, you don’t have any backup. By the time the crap hits the fan, as they say, you don’t have the material that you need to prove that this was premeditated, orchestrated over multiple years. You end up a sitting duck because you didn’t retain a lawyer early enough. You didn’t get the right lawyer. You didn’t document what’s going on. And also, secret recordings. I know people that were trapped in these physician health programs and they were subjected to polygraphs. Well, they did a secret recording during the polygraph and sent it to me. That’s very helpful. Keep doing secret recordings. Actually, in most states, you can do one-consent recordings. I don’t know what you believe, but if there’s a crime being committed, it’s imperative to do a secret recording.

Rabbi Weissman: If my life is on the line, I don’t really care that much about the law. That’s just my bottom line.

Dr. Wible: Right.

Rabbi Weissman: Or if my life or the next person’s life is on the line, I’ll deal with the law afterwards.

Dr. Wible: Take precautions early. When you take a job, get the employee handbook, I actually wrote a book, Human Rights Violation in Medicine. I would follow all the documentation guidelines in there. I would not store things in your work email. I would keep it in a separate email. I would back it up. You just really need to document because you can win these cases on documentation alone if you get a savvy attorney and you realize what’s going on as early as possible. Gullible, idealistic, humanitarians think they can complain within the system that has violated their human rights. If you are wounded by your employer or your medical education facility and you go to that same facility for help, that’s like going to your rapist’s house for counseling. Why would you go get help in the place that injured you? Help these very naive youngsters and even older docs understand, your employer might end up being your adversary. Document accordingly.

Rabbi Weissman: They don’t teach you this in medical school or business school, obviously.

Dr. Wible: No, they won’t.

Rabbi Weissman: Wow. I could see medical students or even business students or any students listening to this and being very afraid that if they start secretly recording things or documenting things for their own protection, they might be blackballed from ever getting a job. Seems like the price that you have to pay for having a career is buying into this system and just giving up all of your human rights. Is it possible for somebody to challenge his employer to start documenting things so then fine, maybe he’ll win that case, but he is going to want to move on to the next job. That’s going to be on his record, why he left his previous job. And the employers are not going to want to hire somebody that they know could be a troublemaker.

Dr. Wible: For about 10 years I’ve been helping doctors launch their own independent practices, which is how medicine is traditionally practiced, by independent people who think independently, and not beholden to venture capitalists buying your hospitals and private equity firms taking you into profit over people. I wish Jay would’ve reached out to me. I would’ve helped him see how he could open his own independent practice. He wouldn’t need to be hooked up to a hospital. That would be certainly better than death and he would have a lot more ability to do a lot of innovative entrepreneurial things to help groups of children. Hospitals are not very innovative. They want you to just do it one way and do it quickly and bring in max revenue short term. They don’t look at creativity. They don’t look at ethics. They don’t look at long-term what’s going to happen. Doctors need to take their independence back.

Rabbi Weissman: Yeah. You mentioned earlier, and I didn’t know this, it’s been seven years since Dr. Neufeld passed away. Have there been any repercussions, any updates from his death?

Dr. Wible: No.

Rabbi Weissman: Anything happened? Nothing’s happened?

Dr. Wible: Nothing’s happened. The people that orchestrated his demise are still working in the US health system. And like I wrote in the article, India and Pakistan are two countries that I know have abutment to suicide laws where you will be arrested by pushing somebody into suicide. If you are named in their suicide note, you are going down to the police station within 24 hours and you might not be leaving anytime soon. I want to mention, in those countries, people who die by suicide will often write in their suicide note, “Nobody is to blame,” because they don’t want their family hauled down or their wife or husband in the aftermath of their death and interrogated at the police station. In those countries, a physician harassed to behave in unethical ways who names your employer or your coworker in your suicide note, they will be investigated. Unfortunately in the US, these people just roam free for the rest of their lives and repeat the criminal behavior in another state and another hospital.

Rabbi Weissman: How widespread is this phenomenon of doctors taking their own lives? I also want to note that for every doctor who does end his life, there are probably tens or even hundreds that are thinking about it that are breaking and they just managed to hang on, but they’re clearly broken people. So how widespread is this?

Dr. Wible: Very widespread. Some report that we have the highest suicide rate of any profession. How would we get the accurate statistics when this is all being hidden? An example of how ridiculous the censorship is on this: when a doctor dies by overdosing on medication, they’ll call it an “accidental” overdose. We dose drugs for a living. The title of our career is Doctor of Medicine. If you’re using that drug every day on patients and you’ve successfully helped patients say, as an anesthesiologist, and you’ve never had a lawsuit, you can infer that they properly know how to dose the drug. So why would they improperly dose it on themselves and “accidentally” die by suicide? A true accidental overdose would be a toddler crawling through the bathroom and finding pink pills in a Tylenol bottle. I don’t believe any doctor dies by an accidental overdose. It’s either 2% intentional or 100% intentional. It’s not 0% intentional because this is your profession. So that’s the level of censorship. We don’t really know how many doctors are dying by suicide because medical institutions hide it. They don’t want to talk about how many doctors are dying. Medical schools hide it. Even families. Because of stigma, Muslim and Catholic families just don’t want to talk about it.

Rabbi Weissman: One thing that we’ve all personally experienced just as ordinary citizens is that when you pay a visit to the doctor, you see that increasingly they’re harried, they’re pressed for time, they’re late for their appointments. They don’t have time really to spend with you getting to know how your whole body works and your life story. And the best possible treatment plan is just swipe the person’s card, chit-chat, get out and move on to the next person. And these may be very good sincere people, but they’re being crushed by a system that doesn’t allow them to treat their patients properly. And I have a doctor in my family. He’s an ER doctor and the hours that doctors keep is insane. No human being can do that for years on end. And even if they can barely function, you want a doctor to be at their peak. And it’s not possible for them to be at their physical and emotional peak when they’re essentially working as slaves.

Dr. Wible: They’re called residents because they’re supposed to sleep in the hospital and not have a life, not have a wife, not have a husband, not do anything except work. That’s what you’re there for, is to work for however many years. By the time you get out, maybe your childbearing years are over. You haven’t had a chance to date for 10 years. It looks like you’re going to go the route of being single the rest of your life. And you know what? If you do get married, your spouse isn’t going to be very happy with you because what spouse wants to stick with you if you’re working the equivalent of three full-time jobs and you’re never at home? what kind of marriage is that?

Rabbi Weissman: They’re literally squeezing every ounce of life out of a person and then they throw them away when they’re finished. And it’s not only that. People imagine that doctors make a great living, and I’m sure some of them do. There are such people in every profession, but doctors graduate from medical school with a crushing amount of debt. And into their forties and fifties, they’re still paying that off, so they’re really living as slaves for the bulk of their adult lives.

Dr. Wible: That is true.

Rabbi Weissman: It’s unbelievable. Why would anybody want to become a doctor today?

Dr. Wible: Well, the parental pressure, cultural pressure. They don’t get informed consent about what this profession requires on their way in. I’m one of those people. Both my parents, they recommended I not go into medicine, based on economic reasons, never mental health. They never told me about the PTSD and the suicide rate. When you have PTSD, you don’t want to go back and revisit it and you don’t want to talk to your kids about it. It’s nicely hidden away in a little vault in your brain that you never want to revisit, leads to intergenerational repeating the cycle. If the people who got PTSD from this profession 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago aren’t addressing it, you’re just only allowing it to increase, especially when third parties swoop in and want to increase profit over people and make things even more tumultuous than they were when there was still a doctor’s lounge.When my parents went to medical school, there was more free time, more relaxed visits with patients and physician camaraderie.

Rabbi Weissman: This podcast started several years ago. For a long time, we were focusing strictly on medical war crimes. I was under the impression that doctors were perpetrators of the crimes and regular citizens were the victims. Of course, there were good doctors out there, but it seems that even the average doctor, to a large extent, is really a victim himself of the system of being groomed to be a callous, uncaring, unfeeling person who’s just doing his job, going about his duties. And that’s what the system forces decent people to be except for the rare exceptions like you that are able to break out of that system and go off on your own path. Most people are not really capable of doing that. They’re certainly not trained to be able to do that, and they become soulless monsters. Doctors themselves seem to be victims.

Dr. Wible: Yeah, that’s correct. I went to medical school in Texas. I realized only later the reason why my tuition was so low is that they had a contract, subsidized by the Texas Department of Corrections. I was never told on the way in that 30% of my patients would be prisoners that would come in shackles, that I would be working on death row. Can you imagine? Me, idealistic me 23 years old working on death row? An oxymoron. I’m in there trying to help somebody be healthy, but they’re going to get executed. How weird is that? If you’re trained on prisoners, you accept the idea that some of your patients are going to be executed. What does that do to your mind as a young person? Also, I have a big problem with the vivisection, and we’re going to just murder dogs as first-year medical students, do all sorts of heinous crimes on animals. If you’re able as a medical student to give a heart attack to a dog. It’s a desensitization program, opening their heart, checking for heartworms. This has nothing to do with human health. Think the Nazis did this as well. Their soldiers had to train with their german shepherds, and then at a certain point kill them. They want you to be able to kill your best friend. That shows that you’re ready to go. This is a heartless, soulless training regimen I have watched my colleagues go through. Prior to medical school graduation, we have to write a personal statement on the way into residency. You know how many people in my class asked me to write their personal statements for them? That might be a clue. You don’t know who you are anymore. You can’t write your personal statement. They actually successfully dehumanized you right in front of my eyes.

Rabbi Weissman: When people study the holocaust or they talk about it, they tend to think of the gas chambers, the ovens, the aftermath. But the holocaust didn’t start with ordinary citizens becoming Nazis and throwing people into ovens and mass graves. It started many years earlier where the citizens were groomed to be desensitized to the horrors of doing these things to people, to dehumanizing other people. A national grooming process. And what you’ve just outlined is basically the same thing where you’re grooming decent, sometimes wonderful people, turning them slowly into monsters. I didn’t know that doctors are basically forced to murder a dog. Is this all doctors? How widespread is that? Is that something every doctor must do?

Dr. Wible: I think this only stopped maybe in the early 2000s. I graduated medical school in 1993. And up until then, pretty much all medical students were murdering dogs. These are people’s prior pets that they get from class B dealers. Imagine picking up these pets. And what does it do to the heart and soul of a young person who’s in their early twenties to give a heart attack to a dog to watch its EKG flat line. I still have our physiology lab instructions. I protested this and I was the only one ready to quit medical school over this. The dean wanted to see me and he diagnosed me with “Bambi syndrome” belittling me for having a heart and soul and caring about animals. You know what? If you don’t care about vulnerable animals and human beings and you can kill prisoners and pets, you’re really exactly what they’re looking for. Keep going. They want you to get going with all these pharmaceuticals that are untested, put everyone on everything and don’t give informed consent. You’re perfect. That’s what they’re looking for.

Rabbi Weissman: Psychopaths, basically.

Dr. Wible: Yeah, somebody who’s left their conscious at the front door. Come on in.

Rabbi Weissman: Old enough to remember when the job of a doctor was actually to make people healthier and to save people’s lives and not to be trained on how to make people sick and end their lives. That’s exactly what they do with medical assistance in dying. Doctors are literally taught how to kill people. Obviously, the system is not going to fix itself. They’re all lawyered up. They have the corporate bribery. Everything is set up to protect them and keep the system churning. How do we as ordinary citizens start to get out of this?

Dr. Wible: Selecting the doctors who are in independent practice. Just like you would boycott a corporation that’s harming people, support the doctors even if you have to pay on your own for the care. Financially and as a patient, support the doctors who are doing things the right way. Doctors are afraid to leave the system because they think that the patients won’t follow them because they’d rather pay a $10 copay or get free care in a big system than actually go out on the limb with the doctor who wants to do the right things. Number one, they need to start supporting doctors who are doing this the right way. Patients need to start asking their doctors, “How are you doing? You seem rushed.” Point out that this is a problem. The frog in the boiling water, you don’t realize what’s going on until somebody points it out like, “Your hair’s turned all gray in the last year. You look like you’re stressed out. Are you okay? Your demeanor’s changed significantly since I started to see you a year ago.” Plant the seeds that this isn’t normal. I even had patients who’ve told doctors, “You know what? You look very unhappy working here and I just want you to know I really love having you as my doctor and I would support you and follow you if you opened your own practice.” Hearing things like that, we need to come together as allies. I think the one thing we don’t need to do is fuel the adversarial nature. They’re setting us up, divide and conquer with patients and the doctors, doctors and nurse practitioners at each other’s throats. As long as they can create this false adversarial environment among people who are truly allies, they continue having us fight with each other while they just run to the bank and control the world. It really helps for patients to be able to listen to this conversation and realize these doctors started out as teenagers going premed to really help you. They put their whole life on hold, even their own childbearing. Why? They want to at their core help you. Have some compassion. Help them get back to their original goal. Ask physicians and physicians ask themselves, “Hey, why did I go into this? What was my original dream?” Everyone needs to get back to their original dream because that’s what tethers you to your soul. You don’t have a dream, why go through the motions of being alive? Why do the laundry? And change your tires on the car? Life becomes a burden if you’re detached and untethered from your soul, and the only thing that keeps you connected to your soul is your dream and life’s purpose. We all need to help remind each other why we’re here, high integrity reasons.

Rabbi Weissman: Absolutely. Several years ago, my father had what they call a mini-stroke. I thought he’s fine. He had to go to the ER in one of the hospitals in Israel. He was languishing there for nine hours. People were moaning and crying. He was getting very upset. He wanted to go home. We couldn’t send him home. And I kept on going to the receptionist saying, “What’s going on? We need to find him a bed. We need to get him some treatment. Somebody’s got to look at him and do something.” And they were very, very callous. Ultimately, I threatened the hospital. I said, “There are a bunch of names on the wall of all your rich donors. If anything happens to my father, I’m going to hold you all personally responsible and I’m going to make sure every one of these people knows what happened here.” They very quickly found my father a bed. But it shouldn’t have to come to that. I was talking with people about this afterwards. They said, “Well, they’ve been doing this for years and years and years. They can’t care about everybody. They’re overwhelmed.” I said, “Look, if you’ve reached a point where you cannot care about human beings that are suffering, maybe dying, it’s time for you to take a break or find a different job. You cannot continue to do this if you’re not able to care about these people.”

Dr. Wible: Correct. We took an oath to care, not only to care about the patients, but also to care about each other as brothers and sisters in medicine. If you’re retaliating against your peers instead of having compassion for them, then you’re part of the problem.

Rabbi Weissman: Is there a sense of shame among doctors to admit that they’re buckling under the stress, the pressure, the hours that they have to work? Like a soldier in the army that’s like this macho attitude that he can go on two hours of sleep and he’s the superhero. Do they have a sense of shame to admit, “I can’t handle this. It’s overwhelming. It’s breaking me”?

Dr. Wible: Yeah, absolutely. And that brings to mind the physician I know who died by suicide in Israel. He was top of his game. I think he had three daughters. They were about to go on a trip to Spain, I believe. He just literally walked out of the garage, went to the field next door and shot himself in the head. He was ashamed to admit that he was struggling. One of the reasons he may have been struggling is he had to receive some (I think might be common in Israel) young dead people through the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) everyone has to serve. And so you might have to tell a family their young family member, prized family member is dead.” And even though this person by the way arrived dead to the hospital, he held himself accountable for not saving this person and had to go through the visceral torment of telling the family, “Your young adult child is dead.” He didn’t have any debriefing or counseling. You know what that does to you? Do you know if you have to tell somebody their loved one is dead and you hear the shrieks and the scream and the mother’s fainting in the hallway and the whole reaction of family. What you’re witnessing is going into your body, so you’re going to have PTSD. Plus doctors have this feeling that they need to be perfect and save everyone. His brother’s a doctor currently still practicing in Israel. I was horrified when he told me this story. He made a minor medication error. The patient survived. But he held himself to such a perfectionistic standard that he said he took a copy of the chart home and he sleeps with it next to his pillow. Just to remind himself that, “You’re not as smart as you think you are.” Impossible standard. You’re berating yourself for being human, making an error when you’re working this number of hours? These people are completely ashamed and have nobody to go to with their very human vulnerabilities. Are men going to want to start crying and calling somebody for help? Or are they just going to grab a gun? Especially in a country where you might have access to a lot of guns, it’s easier to grab a gun than to admit, “I need to cry.”

Rabbi Weissman: We have a question from one of our audience members, a question for Dr. Wible. “Do you fear for your own license and wellbeing by exposing the corruption within the medical system in Oregon?”

Dr. Wible: Not at all, especially because I retired my license. But hey, I’ve been doing this for 12 years and I’ve been fearless in my approach. I am more fearless now without my medical license and I feel like I’m more effective. Do you know how much more effective you can be without any fear of censorship? Even though I run a suicide helpline, there are doctors who reported me as a hazard to the medical profession maybe because they’re ego bruised and jealous. Other doctors will come to my protection and they’ll say, “Well, what are you doing? Are you leading a free suicide helpline? When you’re staying up all night leading a free suicide helpline, maybe you can talk. Until then, be quiet.’ I recall the quote, “Get out of the way of the people who are actually doing things.” This same ego bruising, jealousy thing is really what threw Dr. J under the bus. When I stay in integrity with God in my life’s purpose, I have nothing to fear. I am not a fearful person.

Rabbi Weissman: Amen to that. I followed a very similar course in life. I’m not involved with any organizations, affiliations. I am a rabbi, but I do my own thing and I’ve always wanted to do my own thing because then you’re free. You don’t have to be tied to the corrupt people who don’t have the best interests of people at heart. Another question for you. “Extensively researched PHP practices…”

Dr. Wible: Physician health programs, yes.

Rabbi Weissman: Program, okay. “So based on your research and interactions with physicians, how do you respond to critics who argue that PHPs are necessary for patient safety? Which I’m sure to a certain extent they are or that’s the sales pitch, so what alternatives do you propose?”

Dr. Wible: What I’m proposing is that we follow the federal law in the United States which allows people due process, second opinions. Can you imagine going to a doctor and you just don’t hit it off but you have no way to leave, like you’ve now signed for a five-year commitment, you can’t get a second opinion? Polygraph testing? That’s ridiculous. We don’t do that to patients.

Rabbi Weissman: They don’t even work polygraph tests most of the time.

Dr. Wible: They’re not even allowed… What we need is to allow physicians to get the same help that everyone else in the United States gets with legal protection called the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prevents you from financial and emotional extortion and discipline and punishment when you seek healthcare. We need to just remove the criminal element and allow physicians to get the very good care that they know that they deserve when they ask for help.

Rabbi Weissman: Speaking of going to these psych wards, I see a psych ward as basically a prison where your sentence is determined by the wardens of the prison.

Dr. Wible: Often, yes. They’re following like a cookbook algorithm and there’s no individual analysis.

Rabbi Weissman: Have you noticed an increase in doctors setting themselves up independently in the US and are patients following them?

Dr. Wible: Yes, definitely. Direct primary care is cash pay where you have a direct relationship with the doctor versus going through a government or commercial insurance.

Rabbi Weissman: Let us know how we can find out about your work, websites, books, et cetera, and any final thoughts that you want to share with our audience?

Dr. Wible: and, 11 years of a very dense material that I’ve produced online and TED Talks and a Wikipedia page. I run a suicide helpline, I return phone calls right away when people are suffering, and this is an international suicide helpline I’ve been running for 12 years. I’ve spoken with doctors in New Zealand and Australia and Israel, so feel free to reach out.

Rabbi Weissman: Are you the only person doing all the suicide hotlines? Do you have any colleagues working with you or any possibility of people joining you in your effort to just lighten your own workload?

Dr. Wible: I have a Doctor Suicide Dream Team that meets every Sunday with about 200 plus doctors in there who all want to help. And the way that I am helping them help is I’m sharing the wisdom that I’ve learned from 12 years of running the suicide helpline and the things that actually prevent the suicide from thousands of hours of listening to suicidal doctors who admit things to me that they would never admit to their own psychiatrist because the psychiatrist is typing it in the medical record that could come back and bite them in the butt. Dancing around the perimeter, just trying to remove guns and lethal means. Somebody wants to die by suicide, if you take away their gun, they’re going to get a knife. If you take away their knife, they’re going to go to a tall building. If they can’t find a tall building, they’re going to walk into the ocean. So they’re always going to find a way, so let’s just get to the primary. Like cancer, we could dance all around dealing with the metastasis, but why don’t we get to the primary location of the cancer and actually deal with the problem, which this is a soul problem. Physicians have lost connections with their soul, and the way to reestablish that is get them reconnected with their dreams and then they won’t be looking for guns, pills, oceans, tall buildings, and everything else.

Rabbi Weissman: They’re dealing with the symptom and not the actual problem.

Dr. Wible: Right.

Rabbi Weissman: I see a question for me. “Rabbi Weissman, how can religious leaders like yourself,” I don’t know if I’m a leader, but okay, “contribute to raising public awareness about the mental health challenges faced by physicians and advocate for better support in alignment with Dr. Wible’s efforts?” Well, that’s what this podcast is intended to do and follow-up emails and any other collaboration that we may have in the future. That’s what we’re trying to do. I’m using whatever little platform I have to try to springboard more people to find out about it, to get excited about it, and hopefully to do something about it, to turn words into actions. “Does a person get sanctioned in the US when they admit that they’re suicidal?” That’s an important question, especially with somebody who’s working as a doctor. If he confides in somebody that he’s suicidal, can that come back to bite him?

Dr. Wible: Yeah, absolutely. They could be sent to a physician health program or reported to the medical board. With regard to physicians, their work ethic is so high that’s the last skillset they lose. They’ll lose their marriage. They’ll be estranged from their children. They’ll lose everything before they lose their work ethic, so they’re really doing relatively well amid their suicidal thoughts in regard to patients. Patients have told me, “I tried to go to a follow-up with my physician, but he killed himself after my knee surgery or hip surgery or brain surgery.” They had a successful surgery and then the doctor went in the next room and hung himself. I just assume all doctors are suffering and probably most have had suicidal ideation. We need to look at this as a system problem, not an individual problem. These individuals are having the normal reaction anyone would have to a very sick criminal medical education and practice environment.

Rabbi Weissman: So being that you mentioned it’s criminal, so this segues into the other question I see. “Are there legal actions we can take to hold the medical boards and administrative staff and hospitals accountable?” You mentioned in India there are such legal recourses in place. Is there anything that the US that people can do when they find out about these things?

Dr. Wible: There are a number of physicians who are resourced enough financially and emotionally that they have won payouts when they go up against their hospital and other organizations. But again, they have to document everything and have their heads screwed on really straight from the beginning and have to really understand they’re on a chess board with criminals as soon as possible so that they can put their case together and they have to get the right attorney. So I think yes, of course. Naivete will not save you. You have to get savvy to the medical-legal terrain you’re in as a physician from day one of medical school.

Read: Three US Senators Demand DOJ Investigate Medical Boards, PHPs, Hospitals for Violating Physicians’ Rights.

Rabbi Weissman: Okay. I don’t see any further questions. Any final thoughts that you’d like to leave us with? I want to thank you very much for the work that you’re doing. It’s really incredible. I did not know so much of what you were talking about. New words I’ve learned like suicidologist, I never knew there was such a thing, really changed my perspective on suicide in general. So many layers to the problems in the medical system. And this is a new layer that is really serious that I was not at all aware of. If anything good comes out of Dr. J’s passing, hopefully it’s this. I hope that there’s justice. There’s a God in the world. We can’t always bring justice in this world, although we try, but there’s a God and all the people who did this to him and caused him to take his own life are going to get what’s coming to them. And if we can play a small role in making that happen sooner, I would be honored to play a role in that and hopefully we’ll be able to put a stop to this. The only way things are going to end are when we decide that we’ve had enough, and we’re going to do something about it. All in our own way, can do something. You, of course, have dedicated your life to doing something. I’m using my platform. Everybody in their own way, needs to decide there’s something that I can do to make this problem a little bit better and then eventually they’ll reach a critical mass where there’s a massive, massive change. We can’t just wait for God to do everything, but he is going to assist us if we’re doing our jobs.

Dr. Wible: 100% agree. One really important term for people to understand, especially if you’re interested in war crimes in the medical field, is the phrase psychological autopsy. There is a psychology behind war crimes and there’s a psychology, a state of mind that Dr. J Neufeld had that allowed him to take that final fatal step. It is our requirement as human beings, especially as physicians, to research unexpected deaths and get to the bottom of why every single person suddenly dies unexpectedly in the prime of their career. What I published would be essentially a psychological autopsy of the state of mind and what happened that led to his death so that we can take action. If I had not produced this, I would never meet you. I wouldn’t have been here on this podcast. We wouldn’t be talking about him, and it is my goal for Dr. J’s last dying Wish to come true. And his dying wish is that he doesn’t want any other doctors to die by suicide. And that is my life’s mission.

Rabbi Weissman: Amen to that.

Rabbi Chananya Weissman: A special Amalek and Erev Rav program with Dr. Pamela Wible, who specializes in the phenomenon of doctor suicides.  We discuss many evils in the system that force doctors to betray their morals and their patients, as we explore the horrific case of Dr. Jacob Neufeld—an extremely dedicated pediatric physiatrist, who was persecuted, defamed, psychologically tortured, and ultimately driven to suicide by corporate goons at his hospital after blowing the whistle. Pamela Wible, M.D., is a suicidologist who runs a free (international) doctor suicide helpline. She investigates physician suicides and has compiled nearly 2,000 cases of physician deaths by suicide. Dr. Wible eulogizes victims to ensure their lives are celebrated. She performs psychological autopsies and provides postvention crisis support to prevent future suicides.
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One comment on “The character assassination of Jacob Neufeld, M.D.
  1. David M Lambert says:

    I cannot say this enough. Licensed health professionals no matter what their domain need to establish firm boundaries around what they will do and what they won’t always keeping in mind that to any employer they are disposable.

    Walking away while maintaining your sense of dignity and integrity is far more important than any position of employment anywhere.

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