Replacing Physician Suicide With Physician Wellness

As I have mentioned previously, on February 5th of this year, I had the opportunity to give a presentation on physician burnout and suicide at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Conference in Newark, NJ. It was a very interesting experience.  Amidst the Conference’s presentation after presentation on research methodologies, I spent my 35 minutes telling attendees that their physician customers/respondents were not as mentally healthy as everybody assumes they are. This was a new idea for most, and after the presentation I heard a number of comments indicating that the presentation had struck an important chord. Several participants asked if anybody is doing anything about the fact that 400 physicians in the U.S. commit suicide in an average year, and 50% of physicians report being burned out.

Answer? Yes! Check this out. What you will see and hear is a presentation made by Pamela Wible, M.D.  Pamela has been studying physician suicide throughout her career. More importantly, she has been developing suicide prevention interventions that work, unlike the resiliency programs, meditation courses, and other nonsensical attempts that are currently being foisted on physicians by their “administrators.”  

Bottom Line. Although Dr. Wible’s presentation lasts an hour, I think you will find it a very good use of your time. As pharmaceutical marketers and marketing researchers, I believe that we have a responsibility to make sure that we understand the mental health issues bedeviling our physician customers, to do what we can to help and, at the very least, to make sure that our presence in the physicians’ psychological space doesn’t make the problems of burnout and suicide any worse.  

I hope you agree!

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