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We cannot afford to lose another physician to shame. This anonymous entry stands out: “Thank you for being nice to even the unpopular kids in high school. He’d look at the parents for answers, but Kaitlyn answered them all. She left a 2-page suicide note in which she claimed lifelong depression, but hid it to protect her family and herself.May your soul rest in eternal peace.” Greg looked out for the underdogs, but what happens when doctors are considered underdogs? As an aside, I believe that Kaitlyn suffered less from depression and more from “feeling different and isolated” due to her high intellect.His final phone calls were to the PHP notifying them of his use of alcohol while on vacation, a disclosure he had previously described as a ‘career killer.’ These programs, which often offer no psychiatric oversight, serve as both treating and policing agencies, a serious conflict of interest.Threatened loss of licensure deters vulnerable physicians from seeking help, and may even trigger a suicidal crisis. They claim, “Kaitlyn was one of the happiest people on this Earth.” Here’s Kaitlyn in med school. An introvert with social anxiety, Kaitlyn always had a few close friends, but none in med school. She went on a strict diet, started running marathons, and lost a lot of weight.My son, Greg, was being monitored by such a program.
After an outpatient program his third year of med school, he was sober until his second year of residency.
A brilliant clinician, never impaired at work, but a Physicians Health Program (PHP) mandated a 90-day treatment facility 300 miles away, where Greg felt marginalized, belittled and was 3 months behind in completing residency.
He felt if he were a banker or lawyer he wouldn’t have this forced upon him.
Greg felt humiliated, cornered, and killed himself.
His mom wrote this letter to the editor of in response to a physician suicide article last month.