Physicians Anonymous

Our stories

Nearly 300 physicians die by suicide annually. This post discusses physician suicide and risk factors, and may be triggering.

Physician suicide – let’s talk about it

We need to talk about physician suicide. Nearly 300 physicians die by suicide every year. National tragedy does not begin to describe it. The agony experienced not just by the victims but their loved ones, colleagues, and patients doesn’t bear thinking about.

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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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Physician therapy

A closer look at physician therapy vs coaching

So the new year is near, and physicians everywhere are planning to make 2024 an even better one. Our intentions may be to engage in more self-care, develop a better LIFE-work-balance, and learn about ourselves in an “examined life”. In this context, the debate between therapy and coaching for physicians takes center stage, raising important questions about the most suitable approach for addressing the unique challenges faced by medical professionals.

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To therapy or not? That is the question.

An examined medical life

As a trained psychiatrist, workaholic, depressive, and (formerly) excellent clinician, I’ve come to the following maxim with apologies to REM: “Everybody needs a little therapy (sometimes)”. As the year winds down and the nights draw in, we are taking time to reflect on 2023. Over the next weeks over the Holidays and after we ring in the new year, Physicians Anonymous will be publishing a series on self-examination.

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Physicians anonymous report 2023

Physicians Anonymous Report (2023)

We’ve achieved a TON in 2023, especially as we are self-funded and run by volunteers. So from 2024- HOW do we reach the suffering physician? How do we let our colleagues know that there is a safe place where they can be human first, healer second? Where they will not be judged, but they will be heard and loved. Where we can laugh and cry together bonded by the commonality of being wounded healers.

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Solve quiet quitting

Solving quiet quitting in medicine

Unlike overt resignations, quiet quitting manifests as a subtle withdrawal, marked by disengagement and diminished job satisfaction. To effectively address this issue, it is imperative to delve into the scale of the problem, understand the causes behind this quiet exodus, and propose actionable solutions tailored to mitigate its impact.

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Quietly quitting medicine

As I sit down to reflect on my decision to quit a toxic hospital workplace, I’m overwhelmed by a mix of emotions – relief, anger, and sadness. Leaving a career I had worked so hard for, after just three years as an attending physician, was not an easy choice.

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Hear me surgeon story

Hear me! A surgeon’s story (Part 1)

Burnout almost led me to take my own life. It destroyed my identity as a surgeon. My medical identity and my life were so enmeshed that losing medicine caused me to mourn my own death. From this low point, I have rebuilt. With lots of intensive therapy, and regular mindfulness and other wellness practices I’ve been able to rise from the depths.

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Pointing finger stigma in medicine

Break the silence

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare heroes are often seen as invincible. We’re the ones who care, but who takes care of us?

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Mediocrity in medicine

The joy of mediocrity in medicine

In a world that constantly demands excellence, where the pursuit of perfection is the norm, there lies a secret joy hidden in the unlikeliest of places – the realm of mediocrity in medicine.

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Legislation to Safeguard Physicians from Burnout

Legislation to safeguard physicians from burnout

Why do we need laws? After all, hospitals and healthcare businesses know all about the corporate risks of overwork! We argue that without legislation to force safety, nothing will change because little, if anything, has changed to protect healthcare staff from overwork.

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The power of regret in medicine

The power of regret in medicine

I have so many regrets about my medical career that I don’t even know where to begin. And I am not alone. We all make mistakes, give suboptimal service, have off days, or (most often, in my experience), nature wins. The cancer progresses. The psychosis relapses. The diabetes complicates. So am I going to wallow in them and feel sorry for myself? Or is there another way of dealing with regrets in my career as a doctor?

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