Dear Pamela, Let me start off by telling you that I am a warrior, a protector, and a healer. I am an Army veteran. I’ve worked as an EMT, completed a bachelor's degree and two years of medical school, plus I’m raising a family. I’ve achieved amazing things, but I have never been defeated like I’ve been over these past few years. Honestly, I was less stressed in Afghanistan. Medical school is ...

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burnout2 Illustration by Jorge Muniz, PA-C. We enter medicine with our hearts and souls on fire ready to serve humanity. By the time we complete medical training many of us have anxiety, PTSD, depression -- even suicidal thoughts. Why? Medicine is stressful. Many of us work 100-hour weeks surrounded by suffering and death. We may deliver a stillborn, try to save a teenager with a ...

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PamelaWiblePostcard283-copy Dear Dr. Wible, Thank you for the work that you do. I have been following your push for humane medical education for several months now. I finally decided to contact you after reading your article about how “burnout” is actually abuse. I am a med student entering my third year. I have been consistently hearing horror stories from other students about the ...

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Svetlana Meet Dr. Svetlana Kleyman, a powerhouse chief surgery resident with a heart of gold, who works 16-hour days and runs marathons in her free time. Just 18 months before she was to graduate from SUNY Downstate, she developed a spinal infection that left her paralyzed from the waist down. After months of rehab, she was cleared by her doctors to resume work ...

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DearPamela-900x607 Hi Pamela, I’m a medical student in the UK. Though I’ve only been in med school since September, it has already taken its toll on me. Before I started, I was so in touch with my emotions, spirituality, and nature. Now I feel so empty and desensitized. I hate that when faced with the horrible circumstances of another person, I just don’t feel ...

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Pamela Wible, M.D., takes on physician suicide in her TEDMED talk (delivered on November 18, 2015). Learn more about Dr. Wible and her talk at TEDMED.com. Full transcription below: I love the three things that people fear the most: death, disease, and public speaking. Here’s how it all started. At four, I was so talkative (and bossy) no babysitter would stay with me. So I tagged along with Mom, ...

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Pamela-Wible-Big-Box-Medicine2 Step 1: Greet patient. Step 2: While chatting, check all boxes in electronic medical record for a complete review of systems and physical exam. Copy and paste parts of previous chart note while looking at patient every once in a while. Smile if possible. Step 3: Tell patient to do yoga. Step 4: Bill insurance company for complete physical exam. Welcome to big box assembly line medicine. Ever wonder what ...

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DearPamela

Dear Pamela, Question for you in regards to disclosure about mental illness. In every job that I have applied for, as part of the credentialing process, there are questions about felonies, treatment for drug/alcohol abuse and mental illness. Why are mental health questions still allowed to be on there? I have had postpartum anxiety/depression three times now, and I feel like it is ...

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An excerpt from Physician Suicide Letters -- Answered. When is a taboo topic no longer taboo? When is it OK to stop hiding behind euphemisms? When is it safe to tell the truth? The answer is now. This week I uploaded 53 chapters of physician suicide letters in a
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burnout Please stop using the word burnout. You are not burned out. You’ve been abused. Let’s get the diagnosis right. We enter medicine as inspired, intelligent, compassionate humanitarians. Soon we’re cynical and exhausted. How did all these totally amazing and high-functioning people get so f'd up so fast? Attention medical students and doctors: It’s not your fault. Burnout is physical and mental collapse caused by overwork. So why ...

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