When I can care for someone in the healthcare field, a fellow clinician, when I can assist them to continue their calling, I feel like I have vicariously touched thousands of lives.
Physicians, residents, and clinicians have unique privacy and mental health needs. Many nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, mental health counselors, and therapists are scared to get their mental health care. They worry about seeing a provider in their community, their referral source for psychiatric medication. They fear they will run into their own patients in the waiting room.
Healthcare clinicians are prone to burnout. Burnout describes the wearing down of caregivers due to our work. Burnout may creep in as sadness, feeling unfulfilled, losing empathy, but it may progress to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and substance abuse.
Physicians face an additional, unique condition called moral injury. Moral injury is used to explain soldiers in times of war forced to do things against their beliefs and the emotional aftermath of a battle. This concept crosses into what physicians endure being inundated with patients, insurance nonsense, and facility barriers to providing care, and are eventually left defeated and demoralized. They are asked to lose their identity as physicians and take on one of a cog in the healthcare industry. It is beyond burnout, and it is one factor behind the tragic statistic of the physician and resident profession having more deaths by suicide than any other profession. How is it that the mothers and fathers of medicine, the leaders in our healthcare system, cannot get help for themselves?
When looking at this phenomenon, the stress, the long hours, the on-call, the dehumanizing electronic medical records, and the responsibilities are some causative factors. Still, the stigma is a powerful barrier to treatment. Physicians and clinicians are told to divulge their private psychiatric and substance abuse history to their licensing boards and may fear losing their licenses. So many physicians will drive hours away to obtain anonymous care. But do they have the time to do this when they’re working odd, long hours and always on call?
Special Consideration for Clinicians
These are the professionals who need off-hours access, private care, from someone not sitting on their medical licensing board, and not even in their state. They deserve the same VIP status that a patient of media attention gets in the hospital.
Clinicians are not immune from having depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or substance use or cravings, burn out, or stress. They should be allowed the same rights to obtain care.
Get the Care You Deserve
In this practice, we respect and understand the breadth of knowledge you have regarding medication choices. You need a medication that doesn’t affect your concentration, alertness. We appreciate the unique needs you have regarding medicines and work with your preferences. We have after hours, weekends, and telepsychiatry to accommodate your schedule so you can get care. The need for discreet, competent, personalized care extends to all doctors, clinicians, mental healthcare providers, nurses, nursing assistants, and all who care for others and are working within these sometimes broken healthcare systems.