Volume 16, Issue 3 is a new JPRM special issue regarding physician wellness, moral injury, and burnout coinciding publication with National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, September 17. In this issue, the special guest editors discuss their personal struggles and solutions alongside many articles that are impactful from all aspects of our practices. This special themed issue is dedicated to all those in our field of pediatric, adolescent and adult rehabilitation, and all our team members past and present.
We went into medicine to put our patients first while others often confront us with their own agendas, financial or otherwise. Medical providers with good performance reviews and no bad outcomes have been let go at a moment’s notice. This has happened to some of the most acclaimed physicians in our field. Personally, I am aware and frustrated to hear that hundreds of the most vulnerable pediatric patients in our community have recently been shifted from one provider to another without a plan and without consent from patients or their providers. As pediatric providers, we are sandwiched between our patients, their parents and those administrators who make decisions about the care we can and cannot provide.
The history behind why we are experiencing these shifts is detailed in Wendy Dean and Simon Talbot’s 2023 book If I Betray These Words, which also acknowledges the plight of our founding JPRM editor, Jacob Neufeld, in chapter 6.
In 2019, the keynote pediatric PMR academy topic was on physician suicide, the first presentation of its kind since the academy was formed in 1938. Those in attendance viewed the video that Dr. Jacob Neufeld’s widow commissioned as a tribute to her late husband’s amazing humor, dedication and accomplishments. After hearing that one of our PMR residents died by suicide earlier this year, a group formed to launch this special issue.
The mission of National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, September 17, is Operation Zero = No Physician Suicides. Please join us by embracing the first of our JPRM special issues on this critical topic of physician wellness. And, please show your interest in and support of JPRM by continuing and even increasing your financial support: http://foundationforpmr.org/support-the-journal-of-pediatric-rehabilitation-medicine/
Embracing our community with gratitude, be well.
Elaine L. Pico, MD, FAAP, FAAPM & R
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Attending Physician, Pediatric Rehabilitation, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
“Heal the sick. Advance the science” - Charles Mayo