In the United States, one physician dies by suicide every day.
There are no formal statistics regarding the deaths by suicide of medical students, but it is not infrequent. Hundreds of thousands more physicians and trainees struggle with untreated depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use disorders - most commonly because they simply cannot access adequate treatment.
"Burnout" is a commonly-used (and commonly-criticized) term that refers to the cynicism, depersonalization, detachment, and feelings of uselessness and hopelessness due to extended exposure to high-stress work environments. At the root of distress within the medical community are the working conditions and lack of access to safe support. Physicians face suffering and death of people they care for; minutes later, they are back to work. Medicine is a calling, not just a career - so they work long hours and sacrifice their own health and personal lives. Many are tied down by corporate bureaucracy and have lost their autonomy, and they are losing their jobs to alternative personnel with minimal training. They are increasingly expected to do more in less time. Spending time with patients is what called them to medicine, yet they spend two-thirds of their work hours on burdensome administrative tasks.
Reason would suggest that individuals in high-stress professions would be more likely to seek help, but there are numerous unique barriers that prevent access to adequate care. Please explore the slideshow below to learn about some of the obstacles physicians face.
To prevent further damage to the quality of patient care in this country, physicians must unite to fuel the system's terminal departure from the toxic status quo. Patients are unknowingly in great danger and it is physicians' responsibility to stop this trend.
Mainstream Medicine is dedicated to being a pioneer in this national revolution by providing professionals with unparalleled access to care and support, working to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and by joining forces with like-minded advocates in order to address the root causes of distress within the healthcare community.
Your support allows us to subsidize much-needed, potentially lifesaving care for medical trainees who are unable to afford truly accessible treatment. Thank you for donating to our cause -
your kindness and generosity directly improve the lives of healers and patients.