“The parts of me that used to think I was different or smarter or whatever, almost made me die. ”
— David Foster Wallace in an interview by David Lipsky
Recent physician-suicides and all those before were committed by people; people caught in an organization rigged against them — one that breeds new and exacerbates existing, mental health issues. Physicians are people. Doctors are people. They happen to be people who care, which makes them super humans, not superhuman. They submitted their trust to a system that leveraged their good nature against them and exchanged it for the bottom line. This tragic phenomenon is happening around America and the world, to the people who medically treat your children, your parents, your grandparents and you. These people sacrificed, to extreme extents, to care for other people in the face of increasingly hostile environments. (Medico-legal, bureaucratic, onerous debt systems, plummeting job satisfaction: The list goes on, ad nauseum.)
People who want to help other people are committing suicide daily. Say it out loud. Imagine, if you must, the terrible, sometimes medically accurate, ways they carried it out. Now imagine your pediatrician, family doctor, surgeon, psychiatrist or any other person who has treated someone you know, committing suicide. Stop speaking in euphemisms and internally spreading awareness. Start caring, providing options and innovating root-cause solutions.
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