I still remember exactly where I was when suicide first touched my life. I was in my second year of residency. I was sleeping. It was 2 am two days before Christmas when I received the call from my mom. I can’t explain why, but I knew immediately. This started my journey into wondering why doctors kill themselves.
It’s easy to lose your identity to this profession. Yet, we must remember who and what we are before we have a self-identity crisis like the one Steve had when I was in medical school.
If we are to truly live out the “Do no harm” imperative, we must first make sure that we are not being harmed ourselves. After all, we cannot expect to replenish the empty cup of wellness our patients bring if our cup is empty, too.
The flame that is so strongly lit when applying to medical school commonly dwindles into a slow fade of burnout for many attending physicians. The impact is real and so are the consequences. Today we will discuss some of the causes.