Recapturing the soul of medicine
Doctors need to reclaim meaning in their working lives. In the past 10 years, the culture of medicine has changed radically. For example, in California, a study of 454 clinicians by the Sacramento Medical Society indicated that most had felt the effects of these changes deeply 1
Forty per cent of those interviewed were clinically depressed. Most reported that they had thought about leaving the profession at least once in the past 12 months. Even more surprising, many would not want their children to go into medicine nor would they choose medicine as a career again.
This is not a California phenomenon. An unprecedented number of doctors worldwide, many of them young, are dropping out or seeking early retirement. Something unusual is happening among doctors, and those who care about doctors' wellbeing may need to broaden their concern from the care of impaired doctors to the care of all doctors.