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I’ve seen the world.
It’s full of pain and destruction and it’s even scarier than when I first started my career.
I was watching the news and the onslaught of interviews from some doctors who said they are quitting this job because of burnout. I never thought it would come from my own profession.
It struck me that the stories of these doctors are actually not all that different from the stories I’ve heard from my patients.
I recently saw a man in Albuquerque who suffered from pain. He was in his early 60s and says he feels like a five-year-old child who has been pulled through the hot coals of a fireplace.
His pain was attributed to a compound on his leg called heat permeable venous thrombosis. His doctors told him to exercise, and come back for his yearly check-up.
His pain and frustration was all in his head. The pain he was in was really a result of an unavoidable reaction to a hard life after the massive swine flu.
A recent study indicates more than 20% of doctors will leave their careers at some point because of burnout. We live in an interesting time where the advances in medical technology is constantly outpacing the advances in medicine. Scientists are constantly fighting the incurable, and new knowledge is not even easy to access yet.
We push for excellence at whatever we are doing, but when we are at it too hard, we become self-doubting and only worry about what we don’t know.
Last Thursday on “The Doctors,” we raised questions to the American Medical Association about what they should do to prevent burnout among our physicians. This conversation is just the beginning.
This issue is bigger than just doctors; it’s about our population. We need to talk about this all around. We need to give doctors the training they need, if they need it. We need to give them a job that provides them with opportunity for growth. We need to know what we know, and give them guidance.
We are in uncharted territory with the end of World War II, the North Korean threat, our failure to learn from our mistakes, and our ever-growing population. Now that the first Americans have finally been evacuated from a Japanese island, we are in a new world that is impossible to predict.
This is a special report. I just want to say thank you for watching. If you have anything you want to say, please feel free to email me.