Death, Taxes, and Much More

A high-stress job like the practice of medicine can lead to a number of side-effects. But it's better to get them out in the open than pretend they don't exist.

We can all count on death and taxes. But most doctors can also expect other nasty things during their careers:

1. Being sued.

2. Some toxic patient relationships.

3. Being assaulted (or worse).

4. Making the wrong diagnosis more than once.

5. Emotional or physical abuse during training.

6. Bad outcomes.

As if that weren't enough, a few will also experience:

7. Bankruptcy.

8. Suicide.

9. Divorce.

10. Disciplinary actions or revocation of their license or credentials.

All professions have a dark side. However, the strains and stresses of practicing medicine were, until recently, kept in the shadows and have only recently been highlighted and made the subjects of social media conversations.

Nobody likes to wash their laundry in public, particularly a respected profession like medicine. The public catharsis might be a painful but necessary part of the healing processes that have infected the practice of medicine. Treating an illness depends on making the right diagnosis, trying to uncover the underlying pathophysiology or anatomy and having a frank conversation about treatment options using shared decision making. Whether you want someone taking a video of the encounter is up to you, but the sooner we have it, the better.

For a lot of doctors, washing their laundry in public is more appealing than washing their hands before entering the exam room.