Physicians Anonymous

Our stories

Physician burnout history

Physician burnout history

In this article, we explore the history of the “burnout syndrome” in general and as it relates to physicians specifically. Why is physician burnout history important?

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Those left behind

Reach out to your loved ones, and be honest. Trust me, they will help you. You are loved in more ways than you can imagine, because you are one unique lovable bright spot in this world. So stay with us and shine on us. This a Physicians Anonymous co-founder’s story of how she lost a spouse to suicide.

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Physician burnout definition

Physician burnout definition

What exactly is physician burnout? In this article, we explore the construct of the burnout syndrome definition as it relates to doctors: a physician burnout definition.

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Solving medicine’s moral injury

There is clearly no quick fix to the underlying causes of moral injury in healthcare. This is not a war where a ceasefire can be declared.

So, how do we try to move from the collective moral injury experience of physicians to a systematic change in the structure of medical practice?

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Sir Dominic Corrigan was so busy 180 years ago that he had a “secret door” made in his consulting room to escape his eager patients.

Corrigan’s Secret Door and Other Stories

If you’ve not heard of Corrigan’s Secret Door, you’re in for a treat. Based on a legendary Irish physician, the Secret Door denotes a metaphorical escape route for busy physicians from their hectic clinics.

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Fear: of disclosure, losing my license, and losing face. This is my physician burnout story as a founder of Physicians Anonymous.

A Physician Burnout Story (Part 1)

My career and life crashed to a halt after 25 years in clinical medicine. I was at one point “suicidal with planning and intent”. Medical knowledge in the hands of a suicidal physician can be deadly. As an affluent, respected physician, confident in my position, well-liked and admired by society, yet suffering inside, why did I not seek help?

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physicians seek help

Why don’t physicians seek help?

Physicians are sick, and it’s getting worse. Yet too few doctors seek help or reach out when we are struggling. Record numbers of us are burning out, becoming mentally ill or addicted, retiring early, and leaving medicine.

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Effective physician resilience programs

Effective Physician Resilience Programs: what works?

In this article, Part 2, I concede that there are some excellent principles differentiating ineffective from effective physician resilience programs. We hope that colleagues and medical leaders designing such programs will find the guidance useful, and further grasp the nettle of addressing the root causes of physician burnout.

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Sick physician portrait 2024

Sick physicians – sick system

Practicing medicine is making us physicians sick. Physicians in the US have some of the highest burnout, mental illness, addiction, and suicide rates in the world. Medical student and physician burnout and suicide are a “silent epidemic”.

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Good enough physicians

The “Good Enough Doctor”: Rx for physician well-being?

Modern medicine is no stranger to the toxic trio of burnout, stress, and dissatisfaction, and perfectionism plays the role of the puppet master. It’s time to swap the scalpel for a mirror and reflect. Bowlby’s framework challenges physicians to redefine excellence, shifting from unattainable perfection to a sustainable “good enough” approach.

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perfectionist-physician

The Perfectionism Plague in Medicine

My biggest fear in medicine is messing up. Inevitably, it happens. And while we rightly are trained to reflect, detect and learn from errors, improve practice, and ultimately save lives, the flip side – the cost of excessive perfectionism – can be very high, especially on physician well-being.

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death-disease-2

Death and disease (2)

In Part 2, guest writer Dr Bryce Bowers has to move from losing a young patient under tragic circumstances onto another young patient without a moment to breathe.

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Death and disease

Death and disease (1)

“Trauma 1!” I heard them yell. “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
I stood. Frozen. Trying to process all that was going on.

Then I felt a large palm on the upper part of my back.

“Come on, kid. It’s your time to shine”.

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Physician therapy

To therapy or not to therapy? That is the question for physicians

The demanding nature of modern medicine places physicians under significant stress and strain, prompting a growing interest in the benefits of therapy to help them navigate the complexities of their profession. Engaging in proactive therapy can offer physicians a unique opportunity to enhance their insight, manage stress, and foster emotional well-being. However, like any intervention, it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

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Personal development exercises for physicians

Personal development exercises for physicians

“Physician heal thyself,” says the aphorism. By extension, we could also say, “Physician know thyself”. Understanding one’s priorities is a crucial aspect of personal development. Here are five self-help exercises, including the obituary/eulogy exercise, to help individuals gain clarity on their priorities:

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Physicians Anonymous Offerings

New year, new you?

As the new year begins, what are you going to do differently to improve your well being and happiness? In this article, we walk you through your options: change at your job, change your job, or change yourself. The latter option is made easier through Physicians Anonymous’s offerings.

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