The entire body of physicians lost a colleague this year, a fellow radiologist, a mom of three little ones. What she was doing was reading cases til she was exhausted, making crucial diagnosis, critical interpretations all within expected turnaround times, fulfilling RVU requirements , the productivity quotes , and keeping up with the never ending demand in medicine. What she wasn't doing was seeing how close to her edge she was.
Three days before her last day, Gretchen Wenner Butler MD said to her sister “I’m just so burnt out.” And just like that, @Michelle Chestovich MD lost her sister, her mom and dad lost their daughter, her children lost their mother and a husband lost his partner, to name just a few of the countless heartbreaking losses.
Dr. Wenner-Butler's life speaks to the countless lives lost , 400 physicians per year, with women docs twice as likely as the general population to commit suicide. In an interview I had while researching for my book with the working title “The Wounded Healer”, Dr. Chestovich shared the painful frustration, heartbreak and angst of losing her sister. With conviction and inspiration she shared her commitment to all of us to spread awareness and “Make it Stop.” Her message has most certainly landed with all of us Mama Docs, looking to get our Groove Back.
Dr. Chestovich is taking this message up to the highest ranks through her podcast Re-MIND yourself, dedicated to delivering simple ways that allow you to ditch the mom-guilt and find simpler ways to overcome obstacles you may be facing. The stats around female physician colleagues are staggering and this is worth your time. Characterized by the hattrick of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced feelings of efficacy, Maslach's triad of burnout is something that many of us don't even realize we are suffering from. We have become numb to the pain and change to accommodate the way it is. For all us Mamas who are also Docs, you may need to hear this twice, We are Superheroes who need to be Recharged- Ask for some source today!