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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

What Can Spouses Do for Burned-Out EPs?

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000655048.69039.77

    Editor:

    My husband is an EP. I consider myself a team player—helping my husband so he can focus his energy on caring for his patients. These past few months, however, I haven't known how to help. My husband is among those medicine calls burned out or morally injured. But for all the talk about it, nothing seems to be changing. Combining his burnout with PTSD from zipping the body bag one too many times and the perpetual insomnia from forcing his body to switch between days and nights, I now have a husband who, normally the caregiver, is the one in need of care. Sound familiar? Can anyone relate?

    Where do we go? What do we—the spouses, significant others, and parents—do to help? Suggest exercise, fresh air, drinking more water, therapy? Therapy has to be on the down-low, right? God forbid a physician is seen as anything other than superhuman. Asking for personal help is seen as being weak.

    I'm legitimately asking. Are there support groups or physician unions that advocate for mental health and wellness? Is there an EM forum where you can blow off steam and complain about things without fear of retribution? Short of switching specialties, how does the EM community thrive, not just survive?

    Thayer Gorges

    Oakland, MI

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