I have heard their stories which in many ways seem worse than what we face in human medicine. Less pay for daily tragedies of animals. Many doctors have thought of first becoming veterinarians like myself but could not imagine euthanizing so many animals.
So I believe we are all kindred spirits injured by a system that trains us to become callous and cold-hearted. The details vary but the human debris field is similar.
We are losing far too many loving, competent, brilliant healers in all fields. Not sure we are accurately collecting the real suicide data in any of these professions. Too much to say. Am extremely slow typist. If you want to call me to hear what I have seen and been through, email me and I will give you my phone number.
I have had colleagues and residents commit suicide. I have struggled with severe depression and at times have felt suicidal. I have continued working several times when I had life threatening medical problems. We were conditioned to do that. Thank you for your bravery in speaking out about depression, suicide, and abuse of physicians by others and also by themselves.
Love to hear more even confidentially. Time for us to unite and stop the cycle that wounds us and prevents us for reaching out to get help. After 43 years in Family Medicine, I found myself frustrated and not enjoying my practice.
Fortunately with the help of sweethearts and friends, I survived without brain damage or physical defects. God was on my side. Actually, I was allowed to practice family medicine after my third suicide attempt. I volunteered and successfully completed a required 3 year rehabilitation as a result o my suicide attempt. Since I complied, I was granted a unrestricted Maryland Medical License in When I burned out, I was so upset, stressed and unhappy practicing medicine. I was numb and did not realize the consequences of my actions at the time of my decisions.
I thought I could relicense in the future without any problems. I have been unsuccessful in finding a family practice position because of these stringent requirements by the HPMP. I have been treated medically for my disease, Manic Depression since my last Suicide Attempt in I have been compliant and stable mentally and physically since my last suicide attempt. I have been evaluated by my Primary Care Physician and Psychiatrist and found to be mentally and physically safe to practice medicine with no contraindications. My dilemma—The Boards of Medicine in the United States and their Mandated Monitoring and Rehabilitation Programs do not distinguish physicians who are ill from those who are impaired.
Conflating Illness with Impairment results in far too many physicians being subject to investigations and treatment that restricts them finding any medical work.
This is a Critically important distinction, illness is the existence of a disease. Impairment is a functional classification and implies the Inability of the physician affected by the disease to perform specific activities. So, I have an illness Manic Depression and I have been treated and I am compliant with my medications.
Are Diabetics or Cervical Spinal Injured Physicians impaired because they have controlled diabetes or functioned with limited movements because of paralysis? At present, I am now unable to find a locums tenens position or part time job in family medicine. The mandatory physician treatment programs need to recognize the difference between illness and impairment as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. The HPMP must therefore revise their contracts and not judge all physicians with a disease or illness as Impaired!
I am a rotarian of 34 years and have pledged to always tell the Truth. I have not taken care of myself…and I should know better as a family medicine doctor with a chronic disease — secondary progressive MS. I became a doctor because of how poorly I was treated when I was diagnosed and it was the worst decision I ever made. My disease has gotten so much worse with years of not sleeping, anxiety, depression…I was on three different antidepressants, one stimulant, and a sleeping pill until I just smoking pot.
I have contemplated suicide several times. Made to feel worthless, useless or expendable. I get it. Been there. Medical training is kind of like joining a cult. You lose connection with yourself and others.
Would you be willing to share what you had intended to sign up for? What were you hoping to do with your life in medicine? What was your original dream?
I uprooted my entire life and lost myself along the way. The glitz and the glamour of medicine suddenly lost its vanity while studying for step 1. Medicine has made me feel inadequate, not worthy, and overall numb. I read every single one of those letters and had some relatable moment to each and every one.
Here if you ever need support. Life DOES get better after med school!!
From picking our nose to farting in an elevator or peeing in the shower, here are 25 Things We All Do When Nobody Is Looking. Interesting question. I can only answer on my behalf. * I sneak out of my house all the time * I watch a lot of Netflix * I cook a lot * I never pick my.
Especially if you surround yourself with the right mentors. Amen to all of the above. The problem is pride. Most doctors are unable to admit they are broken. Most of us were broken before we started and the training just makes it worse. Medicine has lost all of its nobility and is not a vocation. Give me another Thank you for this article. When I was in med school, I applied for a competitive specialty. I had already given so much- the first in my entire extended family to even go to college, 2 years of med school applications, the threat of eviction and homelessness without any financial support all while studying for the USMLE- I deserved the specialty I wanted.
I had to scramble into an abusive surgery program in a place where I had no friends or family. I became so depressed, but the way I dealt with it was to turn myself into feelingless robot and spend the brief time when I was awake and not at work consuming alcohol and fucking any person who was willing mostly Internet randos. Almost every morning walking to work in the dark, I would contemplate stepping in front of the city buses as they passed. Whether it should kill me or provide a brief reprieve from the misery of my soul crushing, isolating hell were both equally appealing and better than the shame of quitting and living in financial ruin.
The thought that terrorized me about the bus idea was that I might wake up on the trauma service at work under the care of those whom I had grown to despise. Fortunately, I was able to match into another specialty, which has been much more fulfilling. At times I feel down, but I no longer hate my peers, my bosses, my patients, or myself.
I would guess you recognize some of those treatments used by your peers in the article.
When reading this, I felt like any of the stories could have been mine. In a nutshell, I have been depressed on and off since medical school. I was first hospitalized for suicidal thoughts in residency and have been multiple times since. I finally decided to resign practicing after years of agonizing, eventually going to part-time, and still not finding peace.
A physician treating me in a residential program just before I resigned wrote in my FMLA extension paperwork that because of my depression, I had been impaired. Symptoms have caused significant functional impairment requiring an inpatient hospitalization. I voluntarily reported my history to them and was required to sign an agreement lasting 5 years. All because I sought and accepted treatment for depression. I feel as though I am a criminal, not to mention incompetent and crazy, not to be trusted to be the physician I spent so many hours and heartache — but also enjoyment and challenge — training and jumping successfully through all of the hoops to be.
Again, this because I sought and accepted treatment for depression. Medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing physicians should know that if they seek and accept treatment for depression or probably any other serious mental illness, they are risking losing the ability to practice medicine, as well as raising the possibility that the state medical board will reveal to all of their colleagues and the public that they have done so.
Is it any wonder that people in this profession do not seek treatment? Depressed doctors who seek help CAN be penalized and publicly shamed. Moved to a concierge practice 2 years ago that I thought would be the answer- longer visits with patients, smaller panels- and I do have more time with my patients but the expectations are crazy- stay late, come in on the weekends, see patients at lunch, take work home every night- not what I was hoping for.