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With increasing awareness, physician wellness and resilience programs have mushroomed across the country. Increasingly, physicians are reaching for yoga mats, reflecting on their experiences in groups, and sharing written accounts of their vicissitudes. Stigma against physicians needing mental health services is waning, albeit slowly.

These changes are timely and important. Focusing all our energies on wellness programs while doing nothing about the structural violence against physician wellness is the equivalent of putting a bandaid over a haemorrhaging artery. It is time for us to figure out why medical training and practice often stamps out joy from the lives of the idealistic and driven individuals who choose medicine as a calling.

I believe thoughtful large-scale structural changes are necessary to change the experience of physicians and trainees. Since then, Robyn has spoken to leaders in medicine as well as physician trainees to understand what puts physicians at risk of suicide and the structural changes that could mitigate the risks.

She discusses issues ranging from common myths about sleep deprivation to nuanced critiques of recent studies that have led to the re-institution of hour calls for interns. Far too often, the magnitude of the physician burnout and suicide can overwhelm commentators and push them into hyperbole. Such impassioned advocates can sometimes call for the dismantling of the entire medical system without providing implementable alternatives. This is the equivalent of ripping out the bleeding artery entirely from the body instead of fixing the tear.

Such commentary can quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy by leavings its intended audience with a jaundiced view of their lives, their profession. Based on our conversation, Robyn has a more balanced approach. She also understands a discussion of physician distress needs to be independent and free of financial motivation.

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Indeed, Robyn has rejected some sponsorship offers from some profit-oriented entities in exchange for editorial control. The team behind the film has started a kickstarter campaign to keep the movie independent. I encourage everyone to contribute. I certainly shall.

Physician, heal thyself — Penn State

Disclosure: I have no financial conflicts of interest. Nor have I received any remuneration or perquisites for writing this independent essay. US Edition U. At best, it has found some correlations between certain causes and the outbreak of certain symptoms.

At worst it is just some "pet theory of the day": such as the complete quackery and corruption of psychiatry the more of those that take their lives, the better off everyone is. For instance, we now know that "depression" has a major cause in inflammatory diseases. The "chemical imbalance" in the brain is NOT the cause, but is an effect of the underlying infection pathology. Therefore SSRIs with their tremendously bad side effects are complete destructive quackery.

This is not helping anyone nor is it "medicine" by any definition. I use the example of quackery psychiatry as a very obvious example. Unfortunately the rest of "medical science" has innocently fallen into many of the traps that quack psychiatry has. Since I don't have the space of a book to go into all of this, needs must that I do a sharp, quick vicious attack to make my point. Now I come to the doctors themselves; most of whom excluding quack psychiatrists are actually caring people who genuinely want to help others.

Their "caring quotient" is thus very high and they have a lot of themselves invested in their profession: sometimes too much of themselves that they can't detach personally. This is problem number 1. If the patient outcome is unsatisfactory, then they take it personally and suffer actual physical symptoms immune, heart problems etc. Problem number 2 is that the doctors work in a system that is disease not wellness based.

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They see mostly end stage pathology and thus their world view is informed where they incorrectly see disease everywhere. Normal people usually see only their normally healthy comrades and thus have no interest in disease. An unhealthy preoccupation with disease WILL cause disease by the same scientifically proven mechanisms as problem 1: depressed immune system, cardio problems etc. Chronic stressing of those systems can't be good. This will lead to inflammatory problems which will trigger depression which as we have found before can't be treated by the quackery of SSRIs or other snake oil from corrupt big pharma.

Once the untreatable depression becomes entrenched then suicidality which is a side effect of many anti-depressants also becomes quite strong. The outcome is thus as your article tells us. Problem 3 is caused by the history of medicine itself.


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The "god complex. This is a complete lie : see "Darwin's Black Box" reprint Thus the young wide-eyed trainee physician thinks that the tools medical science that he is given will be able to cure everything. This is the god complex that started in the 's by some very egotistical fat old white men, and still persists in medical field today.

Proverb of the Week: Physician heal thyself

There is no humility, and the expression of it would be seen as weakness by those of the god complex affliction. So once the physician enters the real world with such "opinions of steel" and is faced by the reality where things are quite different, if his opinions cannot "bend as a reed in the wind," then they will snap. Thus leading to all sorts of crises, both personal and professional. Humility and a willingness to admit that the current "god" "science" does not have all the answers would fix this problem but the "god complex" of the 's is far too entrenched.

Problem 4 stems from problem 3 and it is the complete reliance on reductionist materialism. For thousands of years the East was practicing wholistic medicine that only now so called "science" is begrudgingly beginning to admit might actually be effective. Medicine needs to get back to proper scientific method using empirical evidence not scientism dogma. If certain Eastern methods work above placebo then they should be investigated even if their basis lies in non-materialist philosophy. This might be impossible for myopic western "science" which is now firmly entrenched in dogmatic scientism.

There are many doctors around the world who are actually willing to look at other things which might help their patients, regardless of what current western science "thinks" in its rabid scientism delusions. They no longer see themselves as needing to be the torch bearer of a particular inflexible dogmatic philosophy that current western science has become.

Once the torch is put down, the light of truth can enter and the burden can be lifted. I could go on and on Medical science is in crisis with larger and larger spends doing less and less. Those that had "bought the dream" that they were sold about the infallibility of myopic "western scientific method" are the most at risk of unfortunate outcomes as the real truth relentlessly makes itself known.

The real villain in all of this is big pharma which is beholden to the materialist reductionist model to generate the staggering profits it makes. It started to become powerful around the end of WWII and around the time of penicillin. The materialist philosophy made gains for a while, but it was only looking at just one facet of the overall picture. The human being is so unimaginably complex that a much wider type of science is now needed.

The old ways are now killing its practitioners as you say. If what you are doing is not working, then you need to change what you are doing. I feel sorry for all the earnest young medical students being fed such lies by an rancid deluded autocracy.

It would be best if they just killed all the corrupt fat old men at the top and started afresh. Look at the system, not the doctors: "the fish starts to rot at the head". I am an ER nurse facilitating a Bible study on Luke which is where that proverb is found. It is actually a Greek proverb, that is only mentioned once in the Bible that I can find : Luke Luke writes his Gospel and Acts to the Gentiles predominately--part of it is assurance of their place in the Kingdom of God in spite of a natural birth in Abraham's lineage.

Luke also mentions physicians more than any other Gospel and he is thought to be a physician himself.


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  • Jesus says that proverb in Nazareth his home town , followed by essentially; "do those healings you did in other towns here. Jesus uses that proverb as he illustrates that a prophet is not welcome in his hometown--applied to the subject of your article, I think it may be that healthcare providers should have just as much faith, relationship, and compliance with their own providers as they expect their patients to have with them; and not to attempt to fix themselves would a cardiothoracic surgeon operate on themselves?

    He is the author of Modern Death.