Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Updated 3/2017 -- photos and all links (except to my own posts) removed as many no longer active.
I received a copy of the documentary, The Vanishing Oath, from the the films producer Nancy Pando. I’m not sure I can best Dr Wes’ review, but would like to add my impressions. The documentary film was directed by a young emergency room physician, Ryan Flesher, MD and produced by a former clinical social worker, Nancy Pando, LICSW. Dr. Flesher’s own dissatisfaction/disillusionment with medicine led to the films production.
Physician burnout is an important topic and as with most job dissatisfaction is not due to just one thing. The film addresses many with interviews of physicians, the public, and one lawyer – long hours, need to see more patients in less time, threat of malpractice lawsuits, increasing paperwork, increasing pressures from outside sources (government, insurance companies, etc).
Being a surgeon, I was particularly struck by the young aspiring hand surgeon who left (video clip) medicine after all of his years of training because of the toll it took on himself and his family. I would love to know what he is doing now. What job replaced medicine and surgery for him, because no job is without it’s own problems and exasperations. Time management or life balance is always a “juggling” act which some are better at than others.
I will admit here and now that I have experienced some of this, so I was hoping (as I think Dr. Flesher was) that the film would show me better ways to guard against all those forces that take my joy of practicing medicine away. Sadly, it didn’t, but there were two physicians interviewed who seem to always (or almost always) love their job. I “soaked” these two up, especially the segment of Dr. Peter Rosen who advises “the most important thing is to revive your ideas, why did you want to be a doctor?” I love his story of his first patient when he was 8 yrs old. He has retained that enthusiasm.
I am now working to get this shown in my community as Dr. Wes managed to in his. No dates set as of today.