Did you feel that? That little jolt in your stomach as you clicked on the headline? Perhaps, your muscles tensed for just a moment? Maybe your heart skipped a beat. What was that? An insignificant flutter? A meaningless moment to shrug off in your busy day? Perhaps that fleeting feeling is explained by the stigma known all too well to sufferers of chronic mental illnesses. Stigma is fuelled by our fears ...

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STAT_LogoAppointments with my doctor make me nervous. That’s highly ironic, because I’m a doctor, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist who regularly deals with high-risk pregnancies. But ever since developing preeclampsia during my first pregnancy eight years ago, the thought of having my blood pressure taken triggers flashbacks and anxiety. The silver lining is that my experience has changed ...

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Residing in all of us, whether or not we feel it, is an innate zest for life. As a family medicine resident, I live with enthusiasm daily, because I am happy seeing patients, no matter my rotation. From the acute care wards to the family medicine clinic, I enjoy and relish the opportunities to sit with patients. Unfortunately, this zest for life was once lost on me, and at times ...

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I was not at all prepared for my transition from being a resident to an attending. Now that there are work hour restrictions and constant oversight during training, graduating residents seldom get a preview of what it feels like to be at the top of the decision tree. I am an OB/GYN physician, so for me, this meant that I went from being on call with a handful of other ...

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As health care workers, we spend most days in hospitals, clinics, ambulances, and the like — places that are concrete containers for pain and human suffering. And we are bound to be affected by what we see, even if it isn't apparent. Most people do not witness acute and extreme suffering on a daily basis. Between a comfortable home, car, school, grocery store or office, there is little opportunity to ...

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Stigma towards health conditions interferes with access to compassionate care. Both social stigmas from friends and family and medical stigma from professionals are issues. Perhaps the worst recent example of medical stigma is how people with HIV/AIDS were treated in the 1980s. They were isolated physically and spiritually. While in medical school a professor related that on the HIV floor the food trays were left outside the door like ...

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Physicians have the highest rate of suicide of any profession in the U.S., including military service. We lose about one doctor per day in the U.S. to suicide. The high levels of stress, lack of sleep, ease of self-medication, and reluctance to seek mental health treatment are among the reasons for these high numbers. But those are not the only reasons. If you’re like me, you’ve been hearing about how physicians ...

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An excerpt from Physician Suicide: Cases and Commentaries. “Dear Richard and Yvonne, I feel I have no choice but to end my life and am doing so in the hope that you will take this letter and employ it in the way that I suggest below. Please use what has happened ...

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It took me a long time to put a name to what I was feeling. Only recently had I started to read about imposter syndrome. I've had this feeling multiple times throughout my life, and it always had the potential to pull me backward instead of allowing me to propel forward towards my goals. I had this feeling when I made it into college, then again in medical school. Even when ...

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Physician compensation in most employed positions is based on how much a physician “produces.” I work as a psychiatrist, and this amounts to how many patients you see per hour. The more patients you see, the more “productive” you are, the more money you generate, the more valued you are by your organization and the more RVUs you churn out for a larger paycheck. But, in human terms, what exactly ...

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