On this bonus episode of The Short Coat, we hear from Dr. John Mrachek, an anesthesiologist of 17 years who reached out to us at Iowa because he’d long felt a wedge being driven between doctors and their patients. He said that wedge, made of mouse clicks, political meddling, insurance middlemen, patient satisfaction surveys, and annoying electronic health records–was disconnecting physicians from their purpose. And that missing sense of purpose, he fears, is leading them to burn out. It’s contributing to a frightening problem: physician suicide. Modern medicine, he says, is in peril.
Among the solutions, Dr. Mrachek feels, is to encourage physicians and students to take inventory of their most memorable patient stories. He argues that this will return to them that lost connection to their work. This talk, given to our first- and second-year medical students and the first he’d given on the topic, is the the beginning of his mission to spread that idea.