Today, we talked about care for the caregiver. After all, there is no other workplace like the hospital in terms of sacrifice, acuity, and risk of burnout. With such high stakes, healthcare providers are subject to exorbitant levels of stress that perhaps defy human physical, mental, and emotional capacity.
An estimated 400 physicians die by suicide each year. Furthermore, according to a meta-analysis by Dr. Eva S. Schernhammer from Harvard Medical School, the suicide rate among male physicians is 1.41 times higher than the general male population and among female physicians, the suicide rate is 2.27 times greater than the general female population.
Why is this happening? We, the physicians, need to speak up. We need to consider how talking about our own reactions to and reflections of patient care events is indeed a critical piece of patient-centric care. Today, we finally had a chance to let it out, to… Continue reading
I was literally hero-struck upon meeting Helen. I could not fully comprehend her faith in improving a system that had so tragically failed her. She stood at the front of the room, so calm and receptive, when I am sure most people would have reacted with complete hysteria and outrage. Her presence meant so much, because it indicated not only her profound love her son, but also her additional care and concern for helping other patients and families.
While sharing the finer details of Lewis’ passing, Helen mentioned the silent chaplain who quickly scattered away after making a brief remark. I found myself identifying with the chaplain. The story felt so heavy and so sad. I could feel my eyes watering up, but I stopped myself from crying. Anything that came to mind just did not sound like an adequate response. I felt/feel bad for not approaching Helen after… Continue reading