Like Lorna, physicians and health care providers suffer from a critically high degree of burnout and stress. Currently, more than one physician in the United States dies by suicide every day. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has magnified the issues faced by frontline health care providers, yet many continue to suffer in silence out of fear of the professional stigma of seeking help.
If this can happen to Lorna, this can happen to any healthcare provider.
In the majority of states, this fear is exacerbated by required disclosures of mental health assistance, regardless of scale or severity, to licensing boards and health care institutions. These disclosures have resulted in censure by licensing boards, termination of employment, and have had a widespread negative professional impact for many – reinforcing a culture of suffering in silence.
In order to avoid professional repercussions, overly stressed and burnt-out physicians and providers often feel trapped taking care of patients with little to no relief. It is not surprising that the quality of patient care suffers in parallel. Without immediate action, the added stress from the pandemic crisis will put more pressure on our caregivers, resulting in more loss of life and a further decline in patient care. This will no longer be a health care industry problem: It will affect all of us. For more about this issue, please review our articles published by the National Academy of Medicine, US News and World Report, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, CNN, Academic Medicine and The Hill.
Lorna cared deeply about the well-being of her professional colleagues as much as she cared about her patients. As a way of extending her care for her colleagues, Lorna’s family has created the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation.
PUBLICATIONS BY THE FOUNDATION
To Support Physicians’ Mental Health, we Need a Systemic Overhaul
Change the System to Help Doctors Get Mental Health Care
US News & World
How To Stop Losing Our Healthcare Workforce
Time To Prioritize the Mental Health of our Frontline Health Care Heroes
Preventing Clinician Suicide. A Call to Action During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
Dr. Breen Needed Support. We Can’t Let Such a Tragedy Happen Again
Our Family’s Tragedy: Dr. Lorna Breen Is the Canary in the Coal Mine
U.S. News & World Report
Stigma Compounds the Consequences of Clinician Burnout During COVID-19
National Academy of Medicine
Family of ER Doctor Who Died by Suicide:: Honor Physicians with Mental Health Support
Our Sister’s Suicide Shows the Need for Mental Health Care among Emergency Physicians
The Dallas Morning News
Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2022
Why Health Care Workers Are Quitting in Droves
50+ Shocking Physician Burnout Statistics You’ll Never Believe
Virtual Roundtable Clinicians In Crisis
Practicing Excellence Featuring Corey Feist
Consistency Between State Medical License Applications and Recommendations Regarding Physician Mental Health
Clearing Up Confusion on Physician Burnout and Depression
American Medical Association
Organizational Evidence-Based and Promising Practices for Improving Clinician Well-Being
National Academy of Medicine
A Crisis in Health Care: A Call to Action on Physician Burnout
Harvard Global Health Institute
Preventing a Parallel Pandemic — A National Strategy to Protect Clinicians’ Well-Being
The New England Journal of Medicine