September is a month where we look at suicide prevention and awareness. September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day and September 17th is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. It’s a sad reality, It needs to be talked about. Physicians are humans; we have families, we have friends, we have so much love and passion for what is a beautiful profession.

For many of us, the purpose and the reason why we went into medicine was because we wanted to make an impact in the world, in our communities. And currently, the U. S. healthcare system is at a crux. This is where I believe moral injury… It comes into play. Reiterating what I have just said, that we went into medicine to improve the health and the lives of our community, our families, our friends, by delivering health care, by being healers.

Currently, the system puts profit before people with the insurance denials, prior authorizations, lack of reimbursement, these decisions are being made by entities that have never been in the exam room with the patient, and is really diluting the patient physician relationship. But I’m going to ask you to push that to the side; I would ask you to list out why did you go into medicine? What is your purpose? What are your core values? We’ve covered this in other episodes such as sitting down with Daniel Wrenne. Even though it was an episode looking at finances, before you look at finances and investments and your goals, you really need to look at what your purpose is.

What are your core values? And why do I bring this up? Because at the core of what we do,

we have ethics. We have a drive. Again, medicine is a beautiful and noble profession, but many times, because of the strain and the stress, the beauty can be lost and diluted. Part of suicide prevention and Suicide Awareness is also taking care of our own physical and mental health. The reason why I launched this podcast was because I lost my best friend to suicide in 2019. And that episode will be airing on September 17th to commemorate National Physician Suicide Awareness.

If you find that you are struggling, reach out. Reach out to a friend, a colleague, your physician.

You matter. You’re replaceable at work, but you are not replaceable at home. There is only one you. Resources. Call 988.

Reach out to Physician Coach Support. Join Physicians Anonymous. They are open to physicians, medical students, and residents.

To help battle the stigma, start with your local medical societies.

Originally Published on

Sapna Shah-Haque Internal Medicine Physician

Dr. Sapna Shah-Haque, MD is a board certified Internal Medicine physician. She was born and raised in Kansas, and attended medical school at the University of Kansas [KU] School of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at KU-Wichita as well. After experiencing burnout herself, and watching other physician colleagues burn out, it became a passion of hers to look into different aspects of burnout. While the system does need to change, as it is broken, this podcast is a way to reach physicians and possibly shed light on what is not an isolated situation.