I am the doctor who made a mistake, and you are my patient.
You sat in front of me once before and I missed your diagnosis. You sit in front of me again. Anger in your voice, tears in your eyes, as you tell me of the harm I have done to you. Tears are in my eyes too.
BY STEVE ROBSON
I DISCOVERED CrazySocks4Docs Day – held annually on 1 June – only this year. The day aims to “encourage conversations about mental health and help reduce the stigma for doctors experiencing mental illness”. When I discovered the day thanks to my burgeoning Twitter obsession, I experienced an incredible and overwhelming reaction.
Almost exactly 30 years before, as an intern in the central Queensland city of Rockhampton, I had tried to kill myself. Three decades later, I am now President of a specialist college, but I had kept the entire episode to myself and tried to forget it. I am deeply ashamed of not learning from my own experience and using it to help others.
I hope it isn’t too late.
The NHS Practitioner Health Programme recently held a two day conference to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of the setting up of the programme. Entitled the Wounded Healer, this conference Conference had a particular focus on mental health, suicide and addiction issues in healthcare professionals.