But what about physician bravado? How many physicians have learned to repeatedly hold their emotional breath for prolonged periods? As the sign warns, “when you do this, your body starts to shut down and not ask for oxygen, which can cause you to pass out and drown.” Unfortunately, medical training has forced to shut down their emotional oxygen requests, to stop feeling (breathing) as a way of coping with stress, trauma, and grief.
Too many end up drowning trying to be the “Michael Phelps” of medical practice.
We need a revolution of practice that doesn't reward this kind of bravado, if that’s what it really is, argues my friend Sheila Giffen, MD.
“Reconnecting with resiliency is a journey. It starts with taking one breath, with taking a moment just to be. To recognize the stress and to really feel it and accept it. We need each other to resurface and change the medical environment that is causing us to falter in our passion to help others and to lose our sense of self. So I ask you to start really breathing and then to start raising questions and talking and reaching out to find those answers TOGETHER.”
I invite you to join us as we start a topical conversation around resiliency over the next several weeks and check out our physician wellness resource page online.