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Burden of Pain: A Physician's Battle with Justice, the Opioid Crisis, and Self-Discovery Through Writing

  1. Burden of Pain: A Physician's Battle with Justice, the Opioid Crisis, and Self-Discovery Through Writing Dr. Sapna Shah-Haque MD 33:40

When a physician's dedication to easing pain collides with the justice system, what unfolds is not only a legal drama but a profound human struggle. Dr. J Joshi, our guest this week, opens up about his indictment by the Department of Justice and the arduous journey to clear his name, while adhering to the CDC guidelines for opioid prescriptions. The heavy hand of the DEA and the resulting personal and professional turmoil, including incarceration and the fight to reclaim his medical license, are laid bare, offering a rare glimpse into the precarious balance between healthcare and law enforcement.

Navigating the murky waters of the opioid crisis can lead to unexpected destinations, and for some, it's a path marred by life-altering choices. Our conversation with Dr. Joshi confronts this reality, as we discuss the agonizing decisions patients face when legitimate pain relief is out of reach, pitting them against the dangers of street drugs and potentially fatal additives like fentanyl. Yet within this struggle, there's a beacon of hope through self-expression; I candidly share how writing became my life raft, a therapeutic endeavor that helped me reclaim my story and my self-worth amidst adversity.

Wrapping up, we don't shy away from the hard truths about pain management and the biases that skew its perception and treatment. The final chapter of our dialogue with Dr. Joshi turns a critical eye on the stigmatization of pain and how it differs vastly from the approach to other medical conditions. We examine how the 'War on Drugs' and the politicization of issues like abortion complicate patient care, advocating for a more compassionate and informed healthcare system. Dr. Joshi's book, “Burden of Pain,” stands as a call to action, beckoning readers and listeners alike to join the conversation and become a part of the solution for those suffering in silence.

Connect with Dr. Joshi:

Though I am a physician, this is not medical advice. This is only a tool that physicians can use to get ideas on how to deal with burnout and/or know they are not alone. If you are in need of medical assistance talk to your physician.

Learn more about female physicians' journey through burnout to thriving!

Let's connect for speaking opportunities!

Check out the free resources from The Worthy Physician:

Battle of the Boxes

21 Day Self Focus Journal

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.

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