Dear Dr Gandalf, We both know why suicide prevention for medical students and doctors matters....
Dear Dr. Gandalf, I agreed to keep in touch with you after graduation, and here I am, ready to help residents, medical students and distressed doctors. I am also ready to offer guest speaking or provide support in workshops, if you ever need a smart person who survived a rough time in medical school and is ready to talk about it. I launched Whole Human Psychiatry on March 8, 2019, and so far have seen 9 new patients and provided 13 face-to- face plus tele-psychiatry visits which have all been personalized and highly patient centered. This is a faster start than I expected since I am not accepting insurance and I do not participate in any managed care or government affiliated networks. I practice this way because I have decided to get off the managed care bus. I believe managed care is hurting both doctors and patients. The single most significant statistical indicator of success in my new micro-practice is that every one of my new patients so far is 100% awesome. I have had zero no shows and zero requests for between visit refills so far. Every one of them pays their bills on time and they all respect my “no after-hours phone service or crisis calls” policy. To be honest, I can and will provide crisis counseling but there is a $400 / hour charge for this. Unless they are a suicidal med student or resident. Then the house call is free. The quality of patients I am seeing so far is delightful, which reassures me that I am living in congruence with my true life’s purpose. I am here to serve patients, not insurance companies. My work has become a joy, not a task. Intense sadness from losses of the past is fading now in the warmth of the remarkable gift of serving patients. Our brilliant friend Nehal Shah MD has been gone 10 years now. She and I were supposed to travel to a rural Latin American hospital that summer after medical school graduation. But of course she never made it to the airport. I have framed her portrait and made a shrine for her where she brings her beautiful presence to my office. She is young, vibrant and fresh with her white coat, her blue button down shirt and her dark brown eyes. Who could have seen the sadness in this remarkable doctor. Who could have anticipated such a gifted, empathic and capable young woman would leave us before she could serve patients of her own as Dr. Nehal Shah? A major focus of my practice is to end physician suicide. You and I both know why this is so important. I seek to do this through increasing physician empowerment, awareness and resistance to the physical, psychological and moral harms of toxic training and work environments. My ideas about medicine and my own practice model are largely informed by Pamela Wible MD. You likely already know her as a U of A trained family medicine doctor turned physician activist living in Eugene, Oregon, and sought out for TED talks and commencement speeches. More about Pamela and the Ideal Medical Care / Physician Liberation Movement at idealmedicalcare.org
Since my own escape from big box medicine, I alternately see patients and do locum tennens at a rural state psychiatric hospital in Tennessee. In Tucson I do a cash-only patient centered psychiatry and psychotherapy micro-practice at Solar Powered Offices, on Broadway near Campbell Ave. I am board certified and I can provide a one page “superbill” for folks wishing to bill their own insurance companies for my services as an out of network provider.
I could still accommodate more medical students or residents as my practice is not yet filled, in my first month being in business. I offer a 25% fee discount for medical students and residents if you know any who may be stressed or who just want to come in for a chat with someone off campus who does NOT grade their exams. I have appointments available in the next few days and can schedule new folks when they call me or check out my website and contact me through the scheduling link.
Thank you Dr Gandalf, for all that you do for humans beings. Sincerely, Lisa G