Dr. Wible has been doing her best to get the word out about how many physician suicides there are. This has become a huge problem. Our broken healthcare system has left many in despair. It is not only physicians. It happens to nurses, Physician Assistants and nurse practitioners, and any other healthcare provider. I watched many friends become drug addicts, alcoholics, and mentally unstable during my years of medical practice. The most difficult for me, personally, was a beautiful young woman who was assigned to be my mentor as I entered the Physician Assistant Program at USC. She would be graduating that year and seemed excited and happy, with a great sense of humor. And, as is common in these cases, she continued to act professionally so as not to leak any signs tears, hesitancy or depression.
I had met with her a few times and spoke to her on the phone at times. Not a full-grown friendship, but we enjoyed each others’ company. On one hot Los Angeles summer day, she had just left the USC County Hospital where her rotation had been. She drove down the street toward the freeway entrance. At the stoplight just before the entrance, she stopped for the red light. She had enough time to pull the gun out that she had sitting on the passenger seat, and shot herself in the head. There was a USC physician behind her and saw the whole thing. He tried valiantly to save her, but it was not to be. This amazingly smart, and gorgeous twenty-eight year old, with the world at her fingertips was gone in a blink of an eye. This happens too many times in the medical field. We deserve mental care as much as our patients do. It should not cost us our career.
Dr. Wible had this interview on “BOLD” the other day. Please listen. If you find it interesting, please share. We need to make the world aware.