According to medical doctor Louise Andrew, in an article on Physician suicide in Medscape, for over 150 years, it has been known that medical doctors have a very high rate of suicide: It was estimated in 1977 that on average the United States loses the equivalent of at least one small medical school or a large medical school class to suicide… the number most often used is approximately 3-400 physicians/year, or perhaps a doctor a day. Of all occupations and professions, the medical profession consistently hovers near the top of occupations with the highest risk of death by suicide.” In this program, Hugo Rodier, M.D., an integrative physician, describes his awareness of the potential dangers of depression for medical students and doctors at the beginning of his training – and then goes into to the facts and reality of this curious situation and how to invoke change.

A key problem leading to doctor burn-out, the preliminary condition prior to true clinical depression- is the little fact of the mammoth amount of paperwork doctors need to deal with in order to conform to the insurance companies. Doctor Rodier then describes the multiple warning signs and symptoms of depression, often somewhat masked by the psychological quirks of medical practitioners both for associates of the doctor and the doctor himself. If medical doctors have this kind of challenges, medical students have even more, an important topic of discussion in this program. Many other factors of this problem are discussed- as well as presenting a comprehensive way of tackling this problem, one that involves, perhaps, considerable reform of the entire system. As often expressed by Doctor Rodier, medical doctors generally vastly underestimate the value of nutrition in treating medical conditions; costs for a patient spiral because of the high cost of often unneeded specialists and pharmaceutical products that merely suppress symptoms in addition to the financial costs of using insurance companies instead of utilizing a single payer system.

Bottom line- the medical profession has a sacred function- and the true calling card to be a doctor is a sense of compassion and desire to be of service to the afflicted. When you take away the sacred mission of a doctor by putting financial and red tape before his actual duty to the patient, you take away his mission as an individual and as a physician. Physician suicide points to a desperate problem in our overly technical and overly money-driven culture affecting the reality and happiness of all of us.

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