While other corners of the health-care world struggled to care for patients, protect staff, and find scarce equipment, for-profit health insurance companies did just fine. Drs. Wendy Dean and Simon G. Talbot co-authored this article with Dr. Samuel Shem.
Crises often highlight both the best and the worst of humanity. Coronavirus is no exception. It has brought out the best in America’s health-care workforce. It also has deeply wounded the healthcare workers through moral injuries.
For many of the nation’s physicians, doctoring has become an almost unrecognizable activity, and it started long before the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, the doctors have no idea how to take care of themselves. Dr. Wendy Dean’s personal and professional stories are highlighted in this piece by Psychology Today’s Hara Marano.
Physicians took two hard hits in May 2019. The first: the WHO will include a more detailed description of burnout as an occupational phenomenon in the International Classification of Diseases-11. The second: physician burnout costs the healthcare system $4.6 billion each year.
This was originally published in the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine in April of 2020. Please contact us if you’d like a copy of the PDF.
Hero worship alone doesn’t protect frontline clinicians from distress. Dr. Wendy Dean is interviewed on the role of psychological trauma and the role it will play in the coming weeks and months as healthcare continues to reckon with the coronavirus pandemic.
Moral injury is also coming to the forefront as physicians consider rationing scarce resources with too little guidance. Which surgeries truly justify use of increasingly scarce PPE? A cardiac valve replacement? A lumpectomy? Repairing a torn ligament? Dr. Dean explores these questions in the latest piece for Medscape entitled: COVID-19 Is Making Moral Injury to Physicians Much Worse.
The sad truth is that many physicians are dissatisfied with their careers. They still enjoy helping their patients, but often feel beaten down by many challenges that overwhelm the reason they went into medicine in the first place. Surveys show that many physicians blame a lack of autonomy for their frustration. But what does physician autonomy mean in today’s healthcare world?