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Relational Rounds

Jul 3, 2018

Facts: One in four medical students are depressed and 11% have contemplated suicide; at the beginning of the internship 4% have reported feeling depressed and by the end,  40% meet the criteria for depression. We are facing a real crisis in the medical arena; interns and physicians are suffering in silence, and the suicide rates have been escalating terribly in the last two decades. Dr. Elisabeth Poorman has gone through the suffering herself and is now dedicating her efforts to bringing awareness about this critical situation as well as the proper attention that medical students, interns, and physicians are needing. Listen to this thoughtful and difficult conversation and be encouraged and inspired to make the transition from intellectual empathy to real compassion


Key Takeaways:

[1:29] How did Dr. Poorman get interested in this field?

[3:25] Is it really depression?

[4:30] Accepting vulnerability.

[5:05] Different definitions about burnout.

[6:30] Crisis of depression and suicide among physicians.

[7:21] Stigma in seeking treatment.

[9:35] Seeking an alternative to an inadequate attention to depressed interns.

[12:01] Suicidal crisis statistics.

[14:55] How can practitioners seek help when having suicidal ideation respecting their privacy and dignity?

[15:45] When understaffed and someone is feeling depressed the question is “who is going to cover his shifts?”

[16:58] Suicide has increased more than 25% in the last 17 years across the country.

[18:10] Patients should care if their physicians are not feeling well.

[20:08] Challenges are different for women.

[20:25] Sexism when a woman physician treats patients and also among colleagues.

[23:43] From intellectual empathy to compassion.

[27:18] Safety practice is not about pleasing one another.

[28:21] Suffering should not define a doctor.

[28:49] How does Dr. Elisabeth Poorman take care of her own mental health?

[31:30] Relearning yourself after residency.

[32:47] Advice to medical students.

[34:12] Doctors should be able to share more stories with one another.


Mentioned in this episode:

Relational Rounds at Primary Care Progress

Primary Care Progress on Twitter

Toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1–800–273–TALK (8255)

Learn more about Dr. Poorman’s work.