The pandemic has strained an already overworked healthcare system, and no one is feeling it more than the physicians, nurses and supporting staff attempting to provide quality care during these difficult times. Staffing numbers are low and demand is high in an environment that is battling COVID surge after COVID surge. Add this to the already strained healthcare system and it is no wonder healthcare professionals are voicing concern about the drain this is having on physicians.
Physicians are competitive by nature, that is part of what fuels them through medical school, residency, and fellowship training. In many cases, that is what has fueled these doctors to keep pushing through exhaustion. But are they reaching a breaking point?
The situation is so dire that Dr. Rod Hochman, president, and CEO of Providence, placed the issue on the top of his list of annual healthcare predictions for 2022. He projects that this year we finally realize the need to help heal a depleted healthcare workplace.
Why should doctors be concerned about their own mental wellbeing?
Aside from the arguments they have likely heard and already understand better than most about mental health translating to physical health, physicians should note that a poor state of mental health can trigger an investigation by the state licensing board.
How can the state of my mental health trigger an investigation by the state licensing board?
One example involves a physician’s poor mental wellbeing translating to a decrease in quality care to patients. Another is the impact a mental illness like depression can have on one’s career. Either could potentially trigger an official investigation.
Those who are the subject of the investigation should take the matter seriously as it could have a negative impact on their ability to continue in their chosen profession.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication