#DoctorsareHumantoo — #EndingPhysicianSummit needs Us to help #Careforthecarers
One of my favorite shows to binge watch is the #KoreanDrama #TheHospitalPlaylist. On Season 2, Episode 6, there was a story thread on how doctors are emotionally affected when they relate to the patient on a personal level. This could be because a patient is around the same age as the doctor and coming from the same town; or a patient who is older than the young resident and reminds him of his own father or mother; even a baby with the same name as a doctor could also tie the doctor to the patient emotionally, and evoke feelings of fear and sadness when the patient is going through physical suffering and death.
On this episode, a young resident has to tell the guardians that their son’s heart has basically stopped. He tells them to keep their son company in his final moments, and they fall to the ground, weeping. Later when tasked to pronounce the time of death, at the actual hour, he is sobbing mess. He struggles to say the words, so his mentor surgeon enters the room and turns off the machine for him. Apologizing, the young doctor runs out while the parents cry for their son. After composing himself, Chang-min (the #resident) finds Joon-wan (his #mentor) in his office and apologizes again for letting his emotions overcome him. Joon-wan tells him that it is alright to cry since #doctorsarehumanstoo. He says that they should not hide their feelings but advises the young doctor to remember his professional duty.
Later when Joo-Wan, the mentor, is with his friends — we hear the stories of these older 40 something year old #clinicians and the way they were taught about dealing with emotions in the past in their profession. Seok-hyung brings up the time he failed to pronounce a #patient’s death and had the #professor come do it for him. Seok-hyung tells his friends that he could not hide his tears in that moment, and afterwards, his professor scolded him for #shaming their entire profession. While Seok-hyung guesses their ice-cold friend, Joon-wan, would not understand but instead. Joon-wan admits to crying after pronouncing his first patient’s death since the father-son relationship reminded him of his own. However, he regrets crying alone in the bathroom because he should have been honest in front of his patient’s family about the #shared pain.
The friends agree that times have changed, and unlike their professors, they teach the #new generation of doctors to express their #emotions as long as it does not impede their work. Later that evening, the band sings “Superstar” by Lee Han-chul, sending a message that “it’s alright, everything will be alright.”
I watched this ‘fictional medical drama’ knowing this is far from fiction. Till today many of those who serve as clinicians, #nurses and #healthcare hold back their tears and their emotions to tend to sick patients and to their emotionally traumatized families. They learn to become ‘#desensitized’ and ‘#dehumanized’ in order to survive, emotionally themselves. That is a huge sacrifice they make — so that we as patients feel ‘their professionalism’.
Today I would like all patients and all who have friends who are in healthcare — to approach their clinicians with the same tenderness that they held us through our medical crisis. I would like all of us to remember #Doctorsarehumantoo and send this #EndingBurnoutSummit (https://endingphysicianburnout.com/) invite to everyone — so they can choose to be supported too.
Now, more than ever doctors and nurses hold the hands of patients in lieu of their own family members. They hold up iphones for conversations and are privy to secrets and declarations of love and loss — that they were not trained to manage; much less handle.
Healthcare go home in fear to infecting their own families. A woman doctor who belongs to the #WomenLeadersinHealthcare (Asia) community shared how her father passed away from #Covid in #Bangladesh and she was still working in the hospital with minimal access to #PPE and other necessary equipment. How she has no place to go to stay and is worried she will infect her own family.
Today — please reach out to someone in healthcare — and remind them “We CARE” — and they have a ear and support they can turn to.
and Share with them this link….https://endingphysicianburnout.com/ — (if they need complimentary tickets — do write me)
#JonathanFisher and Volunteer Team
Vivek Murthy (You inspired me to begin this labor of love; thank you)