Dr. Mary Dinh, 31, characterized her medical school experience during the pandemic as “heartbreaking.” She was continuously afraid of bringing the virus home due to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), wore one N95 mask before it disintegrated, and saw 13 patients dying in her Pennsylvania hospital one day.
Are Doctors Being Forced To Conceal Their Mental Health?
Dinh felt lost after seeing unheard-of deaths, friends suffering from trauma, and a fellow resident attempting suicide. Dinh said, referring or the three to four years of study following graduation from medical school. “One of the most daunting and demanding times of a physician’s life is residency,” and “on a pandemic and a doctor shortage, and people become effectively hospital forced labor.”
She was able to find a psychiatrist that was almost two hours out. Dinh described the experience as “extremely beneficial and rejuvenating.” Dinh left the program a month ago because the working situation was too much for her.
Answering truthfully mental health screening questions will raise a red flag, putting the physician’s license in jeopardy. Doctors are afraid of jeopardizing their lives after a decade of schooling and $215,900 in medical school debt.
A physician’s license, investigation, and discipline are all handled by state medical boards. Dr. Stephanie Colantonio, a 32-year-old pediatrician from California, battled medical school and internship burden, presented as stomach pain and migraines. She went to a social worker, who put Colantonio in touch with a therapist.
Suppose Sarah applied for a medical license in Alaska. In that case, she will have to admit that she has ADHD and that she uses a prescription drug to cure it and send a statement from her prescribing physician stating that she is fit to practice medicine.
Untreated mental health problems, according to studies, can lead to depression deterioration and suicide. However, according to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 40% of doctors cannot seek treatment with a mental health problem because it might jeopardize their medical license. In 2018, the American Medical Association issued a new guideline encouraging state licensing boards to base screening questions on a physician’s present impairment rather than previous medical records.
Wible commented on Dr. Lorna Breen’s death, the medical director of a New York City hospital’s emergency department, who committed suicide in the early days of the pandemic. “Imagine Lorna Breen trying to flee town, pay cash, and get mental health treatment under a false identity. How does that go?” and “That is an improbable situation,” Wible remarked.
Dr. Lisa Goldman, an independent consultant in Arizona, knows the difficulties doctors encounter while seeking mental health treatment. Her office does not accept benefits. “It’s like riding a disabled horse without a license. Goldman declared, “The game is done.”
Goldman agrees that the physicians, nurses, and other service professionals she sees aren’t a threat to the public; they want to be free of their symptoms. “They don’t want to be grumpy,” explains the narrator.
At the state and national levels, health agencies should recommend forming multidisciplinary mental wellbeing teams to deal with mental health problems and provide social support to both patients and health care staff.