Depression affects everyone differently. And it can have devastating effects on physicians and your patients.
“A tired and depressed doctor who is an island of self-doubt simply is not as likely to improve the outcomes of his or her patients — or ever truly care for them,” Pranay Sinha, MD, an internist in New Haven, CT, wrote in 2014.
Across the United States, more than one physician a day commits suicide. In fact, neoplastic disease and suicide were the leading cause of death in residents between 2000 and 2014.
If you suffer from depression or believe a colleague might be suffering, the Texas Medical Association can help.
Specifically, TMA’s Committee on Physician Health and Wellness has created a continuing medical education course (CME) called Break the Silence: Physician Suicide. The course, which is worth 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and 1 ethics credit, provides the framework for observing symptoms and understanding suicide risk.
It is one of several CME courses aimed at improving physician well-being. And, like most of TMA’s CME, the courses are free to members thanks to a generous gift from the Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust.
You are not going to want to miss the committee’s CME conference, titled Physician Health and Wellness Exchange: From Super Being to Human Being, scheduled for noon to 5:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 29, immediately after TMA’s fall conference at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa near Bastrop. Registration will open in late July (details to come).
In addition, you can help a colleague who might be struggling with depression by donating to the Physician Health and Rehabilitation (PHR) Assistance Fund, which provides financial assistance to physicians who cannot afford treatment for depression, substance use disorders, or other potentially impairing conditions.