I had the most amazing opportunities this week to help medical providers at an international level. I was inspired, humbled, tearful, and felt a larger sense of purpose unfold.
The first opportunity was with Physician’s Anonymous. Physician’s Anonymous is the only anonymous, confidential, peer-support platform aimed to reduce physician distress, burnout & suicide. With more than half of physicians reporting burnout, Physician’s Anonymous recognizes that struggling physicians often do not seek help. They also share personal stories of physician suicide and how the prevalence of death by suicide is double that of the general population with an estimate of 300-400 physicians dying by suicide per year. You can check out meeting times here for free support.
I sat in on a meeting this past week that I’ll have the honor of facilitating in the upcoming weeks. It’s a passion project of mine after talking with my friend and colleague, Dominic Corrigan, MD on the podcast. The incredible experience included speaking with physicians from ALL OVER the world – Australia, Netherlands and the US. And the validating, yet sad realization is that physicians from all over the world are experiencing the same thing – burnout, distress, and a need to feel less alone and isolated in their profession.
Later in the week, I was able to support medical professionals in Ukraine through Family Circle. As I was greeted by Maryana and Oksana – the executive director and translator, I was humbled by their commitment and dedication to physicians and mental health providers in a war-torn country. Their mission is the development of family support programs through the Foundation’s activities – especially families who find themselves in difficult life circumstances.
The experience was surreal. Oksana sat in total darkness to preserve what little electricity she had for our zoom meeting and translation services. Maryana was live-streaming our workshop to medical professionals via YouTube while caring for her toddlers. I’m uncertain how many professionals were listening on the other side of the globe. But, I was tearful as I said to the professionals in Ukraine, “We stand with you.”
I have to admit, this past year has felt heavy at times. My mission to “help the helpers” means there are high peaks and deep valleys of feelings and experiences. But this week was nothing short of inspirational. To know that important work is being done across the globe and that I might be a small part of sprinkling inspiration, knowledge and support filled my cup!
If you have the desire, please consider supporting either of these incredible organizations and checking out their websites to see the selfless work they’re doing!
And if you’re a physician, in need of support, and looking for a community of peers, consider joining a Physician’s Anonymous group sometime. Maybe I’ll see you there. Also, my podcast, The Most Important Medicine, is always a good resource to give a listen to!