“In medicine, the guise of ‘professionalism’ is an example of how an oppressive system has led us to believe that we ought not to advocate for our rights. It would be ‘unprofessional’ to organize for a better health care system for both patients and workers. To work towards personal liberation, Boal calls for a transformational process to bypass the censorship of habit and find ‘antibodies’ to oppression. With this situation so clearly revealed, the COVID-19 crisis has become an unprecedented moment for physician organizing.
Where does this leave the mental health profession and their role in managing this current crisis? We are very much equipped to address individual concerns. But addressing systemic issues does not come naturally to the mental health profession, which was founded in large part on individually-based approaches.
But any approach to mental health today must recognize that if the system we work in is making us sick, then it is not enough to change ourselves.”
Eden Almasude is a psychiatry resident.
She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article that she co-wrote, “COVID-19 is the symptom. Chronic oppressive job conditions are the disease.”
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