"I know there’s a lot of you out there that are feeling disillusioned. You’re wondering why did I spend all those years in medical school and training, why am I hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. I hate this. I hate this profession. I don’t feel like this is me. It’s because you’re in the wrong place. I have several friends (you know who you are) out there. You know that you are very unhappy. You are just racing to get to retirement as fast as you can so you can get out of medicine. What I say to you is dig down deep into your heart and reclaim that dream you had from when you were a little kid and all you wanted to do was help people and serve people, serve your community, and be part of the community in a respected way where you felt free. You can do it!” ~ Yami Lancaster, D.O.
“If you’re someone who has been wounded in such a deep way, I want to tell you the most important thing that I learned when I was in that exact position: you are not alone. There are people, many of us out there who are looking for you. We’re not waiting for you. We are looking for you. And if you just give us a slightest nod in our direction, we will come find you and we will help you heal.” ~ Gregory Mims, M.D.
“To those out there who are still in pain, there are options. The system is a lie. It’s fed you a false dichotomy that essentially you can be miserable, but successful or you can be destitute and happy. It’s not true. It’s not true. We are divided. We’re kept powerless, but there are those out there who want to help, help reform the system, help you heal to find something that is truly meaningful for you. It’s out there. There are options. You are not alone. And remember that the modern medical system’s unofficial motto right now is: the beatings will continue until morale improves.” ~ Bradley Michel, MS3
“It’s just that it is an abusive system, and you can quit and take time off. Find who you are. You can live your dream. And that’s all you need. Screw the system. It’s not meant to get people better. It’s meant to maintain chronic disease states and make a lot of money. So there ya go . . .” ~ Cammy Benton, M.D.
“What I would want to tell medical students or physicians that are suicidal or just want to quit medicine: I was there.” ~ Hawkins Mecham, MS4
“We as healers tend to isolate ourselves and ignore the fact that there’s a problem going on much, much wider than what we’re just experiencing personally. If you are someone who is struggling, I would encourage you to think about that fact that taking a little time away is very healing. When you have the time, don’t be afraid to take a break. Say, ‘You know what, this isn’t working for me right now,’ and take the time away from health care to evaluate because there are lots of options available to you once you take the time and stand back. But in that time, find who you are because you are an awesome person and there is so much more to you than just who you feel like when you are in this degrading system.” ~ Stephanie Whyte, M.D.
“If you need to take some time off, if you need to get rid of some of that PTSD that’s been part of this profession, our training, that’s completely fine. But don’t ignore that little voice inside you that still wants to do this, but in the way that serves your heart and is authentic to yourself.” ~ Yami Lancaster, D.O.
“The transition that I’ve experienced from feeling exhausted and depleted and trapped and sad at work to feeling exhausted, depleted, and angry at the system—that transition has really helped to give me the motivation I need to realize that there is a better way.” ~ Caroline Schier, M.D.
“I know you feel like you are entirely stuck. I know you think that there’s no way out. There is. There are other options and I really, really hope that you will look around and try to find them because I know when you’ve been told over and over that this is your only option that becomes reality to you. But it’s not. It’s not really real. There are other options. There are other ways and you’re not actually stuck. So please try to get yourself unstuck. Please. And ask for help.”
~ Lisa Kozinski, M.D.
“Ask for help. We’re a profession that doesn’t like to ask for help. When you’re reaching out you actually are stronger for doing that and I just want to let you know that by reaching out you’re empowering not only yourself, but you’re empowering your patients and you’re empowering your other colleagues.” ~ Hawkins Mecham MS4
“To anyone out there who is feeling trapped, depleted, exhausted, unhappy, my message to you is that there is a better way.” ~ Caroline Schier, M.D.
“We’re all working so hard. We’re such compassionate, intelligent people. There are plenty of ways to pay off our debt and make money. We don’t have to work for system that takes the majority off the top and works us until we’re burnt out, abusing ourselves. I know the stresses. I know the temptations or the necessity to turn to substances, to be depressed, to be anxious, and it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re feeling that, please take the time to step back because suicide is the next step with that and it is just not worth it. And hearing from peoples’ families that have lost medical providers, it’s heartbreaking. It is such a tremendous loss to a society that needs healers.” ~ Michael Latteri, MS3
“What’s been the most amazing thing for me is the connection that I’ve felt with my peers here and the joy that I have leaving here, the excitement I have because I feel like being amongst these people that just want to serve from their heart has given me hope for my profession.”
~ Yami Lancaster, D.O.
“There are people out there practicing medicine that are more caring and compassionate and creative and amazing and beautiful than I could ever have imagined and that they love me and they love you and they love everybody and they just want to heal.” ~ Jenny Wheeler, M.D.
“If we can’t take care of ourselves and each other then we’re not doing it right so come join us. Pamela Wible and all these people are so awesome. We will always be here for you. All you have to do is contact us.” ~ Michael Latteri MS3
“I’m just joyful. I’m happy. I can’t wait to get out there and start building my dream and reclaiming my dream from when I was three years old and I feel like you can too. So have hope. You can get out of this. It doesn’t matter the debt. Just think about how you can help the world in the way that you wanted to since you were little kid. You can do this! I believe in you and so does Pamela Wible. That’s why I’m here and I’m so glad I found her and all these awesome, amazing people. I love you guys so much!” ~ Yami Lancaster, D.O.
“We know what it’s like and we don’t want to lose any more of our brothers and sisters in health care and it’s making us angry because this world needs us.” ~ Gregory Mims, M.D.
If you are a medical student, physician, or health care professional who needs someone to talk to, please contact: Gregory Mims: [email protected]. Yami Lancaster: [email protected]. or click here to reach Pamela Wible.
“You are not alone. You are loved.” ~ Pamela Wible, M.D.
Pamela Wible, M.D., has helped hundreds of physicians reclaim their happiness and their careers. She offers biannual retreats for medical students & physicians. Dr. Wible has been named the 2015 Women Leader in Medicine for her work on medical student and physician suicide prevention. Video by GeVe.