Heroes of Healthcare
Heroes of Healthcare

Episode · 1 year ago

Mental Health in Healthcare: Burnout, Anxiety, Depression & Suicide

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Because they are worried about the stigma associated with seeking help, health care professionals with mental health issues often refuse to seek treatment.

The concern isn’t without merit. Certain states have wording in their license applications that allow them to discriminate against individuals who access mental health resources.

Needless to say, leaving mental health issues untreated can be very dangerous, which is why there needs to be a cultural shift around how we view mental health in healthcare.

Our first returning guest, Dr. Kellie Stecher , OB/GYN and Chief Medical Officer at Linked Inclusion, joins the show to share news from the frontlines of her continuing fight to bring awareness to this vitally important cause. Hear from Dr. Stecher about her new book, Delivering, and how she is creating a movement around Physician Mental Health issues one bite at a time.

Topics covered:

  • Policy updates around mental health and physician licensing
  • COVID from the perspective of the OB/GYN community
  • Why Dr. Stecher decided to write her book titled, Delivering
  • How, as CMO, Linked Inclusion is working to fix healthcare

Resources mentioned during the episode:

To hear this interview and more like it, subscribe to Heroes of Healthcare on Apple Podcasts, Spotify , or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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There's a certain culture that is allowed to exist in medicine that is toxic and it's enabled and for us to make real changes we have to face that and tackle the issues that actually exist. You're listening to heroes of healthcare, the podcast that highlights bold, selfless professionals in the healthcare industry focused on transforming lives in their communities. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the heros of healthcare podcast. I'm your host, Ted Wayne. Joining us once again on the show is Dr Kelly Stecker. Dr Stecker joined us on Episode Sixteen back in May and is rejoining us once again to give us an update on our passion project, Patient Care Heroes, and her new book titled Delivering. As a reminder to our listeners, Dr Steckers and Obgyn with M Health Fair View Women Center in Minnesota. She also serves as cheap medical officer to linked inclusion, a virtual platform based community of individuals facing the common challenges of exclusion, and Co founder and president of Patient Care Heroes that I mentioned earlier. Dr Stecker has won the Minneapolis St Paul Magazine's top Doctors Rising Star Award for the last three years. Her work has made her an invaluable contributor to both local and national publications, news and PODCASTS. Her focuses on advocacy and policy change centering down safety and equity. We're delighted to have Dr Stecker back on the hero of healthcare. Welcome back to the years of healthcare, Doctor Stecker. Thanks so much for having me. Well, we're delighted to have you back your episode. I don't think I told you this before. Your episode is number one out of all of our episodes. Wow, and I didn't know. Yeah, it as I looked at that the other day. So thank you for your promotion. I think you're you're following is continued to bring people to us and hopefully get your word out as well. So fitting that we should have our number one guest back on. I look back when it's been about six months since you joined us last time, in many ways seems like yesterday and many ways seems like lots of gone by and and you always impress us that you're never slowing down and always doing lots of new things. So we'll talk about that today and jump in. But I don't catch up the listeners. What's new with you? A little bit of a some more new role and some new things going on tell us what's going on and what's going on with patient care heroes. So I have been really fortunate enough to meet many people on the way with patient care heroes and through some of my advocacy work I actually met the individual who was CEO for a startup which is called linked inclusion, and was offered the chief medical officer role with them, which I accepted, and that is going to be a huge, amazing opportunity for us to create social change and use that in wellness right. So some of the things will tackle with maternal mortality, mental health and make sure that we're making sure that everyone has accessible access to care. So I'm really excited about that, especially since mental health is such an issue right now. We're seeing the rates of burnout, anxiety, depression and position suicide increase, and Sandley also among nurses, and we're losing a lot of amazing individuals just saying I've had enough, I'm not going to be a healthcare any longer. So these are issues that we really need to continue to tackle. The other thing I'm really excited about, which you know, is my book that came out. It's actually the published Datas October six and it's called delivering, and so that is kind of like my baby that I created over the covid time span, and you spare time to said. Yeah, yeah, we all have a lot of that right. That's right. Yeah, well, that's exciting and I want to dig into that a little bit more and by the time this releases, the book will be out, and so we'll definitely put a link to that on the site and do that. But I remember patient care heroes launched in January and that was your website and your cause. You talked about short term goals being education and educating the marketplace, long term ideas and visions...

...on wellness. So tell us over the less six months, what's evolved, what's changed and our things going with the site and how's it getting out? Yeah, so patient Care Heroes, obviously is a labor of love for me because we've seen so many individuals struggling with mental health issues and one of the big things I wanted to tackle is the advocacy end of this, because there's positions that are legitimately concerned that they will lose their license if they see week mental healthcare, and we worked on a lot of these issues in the state of Minnesota, where I'm at, and with Minnesota Medical Association, and so we successfully have been able to change the wording on the position license application so they don't discriminate against people seeking mental health resources. That's great, you know, that's, you know, step one. That's really important and we're doing a lot of this work with Minnesota mental health advocacy programs and Shari McConnell, who is a great individual working on these issues as well, and so we're using kind of the momentum from that to build to hopefully create changes across the country. I know Corey fast from the Breen Foundation is such an amazing inspirational man and I don't know if you're familiar with his story, but it was his sister in law, Laurena Breen, that died by suicide in New York, and so they created the Breen Foundation and we were able to get the Breen Act past and so this is going to allow a lot more resources for even doing research on what is causing some of these concerns in the healthcare community. Unfortunately, we have to have the numbers to back us because, you know, anecdotal evidence is not enough for people to actually spend money and create change, especially in healthcare systems. To the the Breen Act that corey fine and you guys get helped get behind. Is that? Was that just for New York or is that that's everywhere? Yeah, it's a piece of legislation and Tim Kaine and Tina Smith were individuals that worked on that. Tina Smith is one of our senators here in Minnesota and is really passionate about mental health. So let's was a nice way to segue our involvement in Minnesota with them. That's great, awesome and so and what is specifically? The act addresses it. It addressed the protection from mental health with you with the job. You know, I wish it did. We try to get some of Dendam's tapped on there. It's mostly financial assistants and things like that. So we do have a long way to go. This is a great historical piece of legislation for us. However, I would love there to be universal license applications. Right now, the Individual State licensure organizations, the boards, can basically exist independently and have their own questions, and so the difficulty with that is each state is essentially acting like its own fifdom and then people are treated completely differently and in the speed of Minnesota it's very interesting dichotomy where we have some individuals. For example, we've had a classic surgeon who was male, have years and years of sexual predatory behavior toward female patients and his license was not taken or suspended and in fact the only reason we know about this is because one of the big system said no, I'm not going to currential you here. So we've got that on one end and on the other end we have women who are afraid just to seek mental healthcare for Postparon anxiety. We had another amazing physician mom died by suicide shortly before she was supposed to come back from postpartum leave. And when you look at people who kind of are just operating independently, doing whatever they want, versus women who are in our system trying to decide if they're going to seek care because they're worried about their license, it's just it's very polarizing to look at the differences they're so when you talk about universal license application, is that something that you're looking at where each state would continue to license under their own rules and regulations, but the application was universal so that certain ability to question or ask certain things would be eliminated. You know, I honestly think that there needs to be complete overhaul what we're doing for applications. I think that it should be a national entity because...

...many states have failed their clinicians and I don't think that the states should be able to operate independently at this point. I would I've been at some of the Minnesota Board meetings at this point and a lot of the individuals who are making these decisions are not educated on the issues that are affecting physicians right now. So I know that there is and trying to scramble here and try to remember how it would what it it stands exactly for. But there is the IMLC, which is the interstate medical license cooperative. I think it is medical compact. So it is close. And what about that? I mean, we hear more and more that where you have these states that our reciprocating. It's not a direct where if I have a license in one state, it applies in the other state, but it makes the licensing faster. It's a little bit more of a fast track, provided that you are a that they call a clean provider. You don't have any big medical malpractice suits outstanding ending or any other things like that. Have you had any law or any talk with there? Is that a place to start? You know? And there's also national federations of organizations that are trying to put recommendations out for licensing, right, but all that is as recommendations and the Individual Policy Committees for the individual medical boards have to put that forth, have to have a discussion on it, have to elect to push it forward for a vote. I mean so all of these organizations are kind of fluffed when it comes to actual rubber meets the road changes. And so I think if we're going to have states that are out of touch with what is actually needed, then we need to circle back and take control of that, because we've allowed them to exist in isolation for far too long. We also have a number of individuals who have been reported for various things that are patient safety related, sexual misconduct related, etceter etc. And because the individual boards have so many reports and the ratio of reports to staff is so low, a lot of these things go on answer and so that's not a safe thing either. And so if the argument is we can't have physicians who are seeking mental health care for anxiety because of a patient safety issues. Well, the way you're doing this is not appropriate. The other issue is burnout is going to lead to depression, anxiety and suicide. Right, we've seen this process happen time and time again, and the issue with that is, okay, well, what effect does burnout have on patient safety? While significant and so we are leaving a whole crew of individuals untreated, which we can prove has detrimental effect on patient safety and patient outcomes. And so again, if the argument is we're tasks with trying to create a safe environment for patients, we're completely going about it wrong. HMM. Yeah, so, you know, I'm just want to go back on so we said. So when you're talking about they are putting a level of make sure I understand, they're putting a level of scrutiny around the mental health issues that they see on the licenses, but they are not being consistent and how they apply that same scrutiny or criteria to other things, other what we might call socially bad behaviors. Exactly, okay, and so I think the problem with having individual fiefdoms and being human rights, we're all human, is we cannot separate ourselves from our bias unless we're working really hard at that. And so that goes into the whole gender bias, racial bias. How are people treated differently in academic constitutions versus community institutions? There's a certain culture that is allowed to exist in medicine that is toxic and it's enabled and for us to make real changes we have to face that and tackle the issues that actually exist. Well, and so yes, and thank you for doing that. And I guess getting the likes of Tim Kane and Tina Smith definitely gets you a higher level of escalation, or or not escalation, but visibility in the marketplace to get some people who have the law, your influence, you know,...

...getting behind this hopefully will continue to be the spark that continues to drive that Fallard. Yeah, and Corey Feist is amazing. I'm very thankful that I can say I know him now because he's an individual who is just such a hard working advocate for all of us in healthcare. That's awesome. We need more of that. So tell me a little bit about what happened in the last six months. What have you learned in the Obguyan community about covid that has been either the biggest Aha or you're excited about or affirming to what we believed earlier. What's changed, if anything, overlays six months? Everything's changing so fast. So I'll tell you. I it's interesting because we had this conversation it feels like a hundred years ago, and I was very pro vaccine because I was looking at the data that was coming out and really it's affirmed what my thoughts were. I also knew that there's no way that pregnant people were going to just kind of get off easy like they were claiming before. And I don't know if you remember, when the pandemic initially started, they were thinking that potentially pregnant people had a certain level of protection because they were pregnant and so they were not seen as a high risk category. And I think every Obgian in the country went, I don't know, that's necessarily through, and so that gave us all a little bit of hesitancy and we're taking a little back because we obviously know how the flu works in pregnancy and people are a lot sicker with the flu. And financy, which is one of the many reasons we want people to have the flu vaccine. So we definitely want people to have that. However, with Covid we are seeing significantly worse outcomes and pregnancy, and so your risk of severe disease and death is a lot higher than the average person. And the CDC actually just came out, I'm sorry, and that's it. That's in women who are contracting codd who are breaks, example, to be clear on that. Yes, so the CDC actually put out some information the last couple weeks, I actually think like four or five days ago, really urging people who are pregnant thinking about becoming pregnant to get the vaccine. And I can say with one hundred percent confidence this is not going to cause infertility issues, is not going to jeopardize your ability to have kids in the future. This is not change in DNA, this is not getting into the fetus and some harmful way. None of that is actually reality. Okay, so good news when we played the the devil's advocate here. Okay, so the question I think would they would say, and I'm putting on the spot, so I apologize, but how do you know right? That's I mean. I think the big piece around the whole vaccine is is continues to be it's new and I asked a previous episode to someone. Okay, the FDA is now a prove this thing. Is Everybody going to get on board? And they said no, they're not, because they're going to say the FDA rushed it through. So everybody's under this perception that this thing has been rushed and crushed. And we talked about on the show that it's not new technology. It's been around for a while, but all that sort of stuff. But so I love your affirmation and I love the fact that those list steners who have that fear of infertility due to vaccination, you're saying that's not going to happen. Their question is, how do you know? So what did you courage to make that statement? Well, I mean, I worked pretty hard for my career and I would have bet my career on it. But looking at the information, and this is what really is frustrating, because people will hear something or see something, to read something and if it's the first thing they read or see, that kind of sticks in their mind and so it's hard to correct some of this misinformation, which is really frustrating as a clinician. But the way I explained it to one of my colleagues on Linkedin is okay. So you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and their perfume smell, right, that trigger something and you write. So you see them, you smell their smell, it triggers a reaction. Now if you're like walking in the department store, you broke up with them, you smell the smell, it's going to trigger the reaction, right. So I like to look at the vaccine kind of like that. So you've got the Murn A. It's very fragile, okay, and that's why...

...has to be kept at a certain temperature. It has to be handled very carefully and ministered precisely, and so it's not going to survive in the world, in your body, like it's just not going to. That's not going to happen. It's I can be incorporated into anything, but it leaves that memory, right, and so then you have that visceral reaction to it. So then you can mount an immune response if you ever see that antigen or that smell, that smell, if you will. Right. So it's a weak enough particle that it is not going to do anything to you. It's not going to incorporate anywhere. It's just not how it physically as made. It's impossible for it to do that. So it's not as evasive in your body and your system as some people see that to believe it is. Some people believe, okay, this vaccine is now taken over my body exactly and it's every place that it is, but it's really just that it's I love that. I love the analogy. It is that little memory molecule in your brain that, if triggered, it will come out, but if not it kind of just sits there waiting exactly. And so okay, then we can moner immune response, right, and so that's really how vaccines have worked forever. We go right taste of it so that we can recognize it in the future so we actually can combat a response. And so this is another issue that we're seeing as these anti vaccine rhetoric issues have created anti vaccine rhetoric for things that have been around forever, right. So again we're seeing more measles and different things coming out, and so we tend to have these APPs and flows of outbreaks of different things that should be eradicated by now, because the rudder grass so toxic to us. Trying to make sure that our patients are safe. Yeah, yeah, I just just put the sake of continuing on this show, to support that. We are, you know, pro vaccination. To The statistic that came out of the episode last with Memorial Hospital from the head of the ICEEU was we've had on fifteen hundred deaths from covid and we've had zero throw hospitalizations from the vaccine. So He's saying what you know. You know. Why are we so against it when it continues to prove itself out and any and why do we listen to? Since when do we listen to our politicians over our medical providers? Exactly so, and there's there's a document out of one of the Rome safety projects and there's thousands of physicians signing it to basically reaffirm the physicians have no place in pushing their politics or their ajunda right. It is our job to do no harm, as our job to make sure that patients are given the most upto date accurate, safest information. So it's not my job to give you my opinion on a birth control or a vaccine or some political debate, as my job to make sure that you are safe and taking care of and have the options that you need and that's informed consent. Well, great, well, I know I'm glad that that's been affirmed for you. I hope our audience will continue to listen to this and we'll continue to go ahead and just continue to feel the safe to go get vaccinated. And now we're coming around with boosters. Right. I had mine. I had mine on not like eight days ago and I gladly signed up because I was more than eight months out from my series. And you know, I work with enough individuals who protect covid that I for sure will stay up to date on these things. I certainly don't want to risk me bring it home to my six night year old who haven't been Mac stated yet. Yeah, and then the last message, again, how I try to continue to reaffirm is, you know, so many people are also saying well, especially who have a big portion of the unvaccinated community today, are saying, I'm young, I'm healthy, I had it and it didn't didn't get too bad, so I don't need the vaccine and all that. But the data that's coming out with what they're calling long callers or all of this post effect of brain fog and different heart situations, long situations and all...

...that. You know. That was the other reason why it's okay. Yes, you are young, yes, you probably will survive a dose of it, but do you want to have these long lasting effects? I know you're not epidemiology, but you know, one of the things I've seen that is line disease is a neurological, my understanding, virus that you get and it has long term effects that you have it. So No, no difference in the sense of why you should go out and get you know this, even though you think you're young and healthy and can withstand it. Honestly, if you look at the data from the Delta variant, which is the predominant variant, now we're seeing young people die and be on ACRO and we've had children on ACMO and the twin cities, and I don't think it's anything that to be messed around. But there are people with risk factors. Obviously, being overweight or obesis a risk factor which, to be honest, is a huge portion of our country, right. I mean I got, I could have gotten my booster just because I'm overweight. Right. So we all need to make sure that we're protecting ourselves and the community that we live in, just to make sure that we're doing the right things for people around us. That just for at you said, at Mo explain what at moments. So it's a specialized machine basically, because individuals can't to explain it kind of in a more simplistic way, just kind of like the heartlung functions. We need to help support that for those individuals. And so the problem that we're seeing is we have a Finan amount of resources. Right. So resources include staff, right. So if we're not taking care of them and their mental health, we won't have them to help take care of anybody. Other resources are beds, right, and so it's not just because covid exists that nothing else exists. Right, people are still falling off ladders, people are still getting into fights, people are still having heart attacks and strokes, and so we need those beds to protect people that need them for various other reasons as well. And then, yes, covid on top of it. And so the thing that positions are worried about is, as we continue on this way and we see flu and different things, are we going to run out of the resources that are more scarce? Yeah, and again you're just that going what we've been hearing through the show from other other doctors and providers saying let us treat some of the other people who have other serious things by just being smart. Okay, so let's shift gears here a little bit and tell us about the book. Delivering is the title of the book to Be Released October. Sixty said. Yeah, so two days were October fourth. We're recording this, so will be in two days. So again, as as a listeners here, it'll be out and available. Yeah, so tell us about why the why a book? So when I started this whole covid journey, I guess, and started patient Care Heroes, I was really trying to figure out how I could affect some sort of tangible change in the healthcare community because, as we've discussed before and I'm sure you've discussed with many other people, there's a real need for cultural shift and I think that people have a fear of being vulnerable and authentic and telling their story, because everyone has a story and I wanted to be able to tell my story and talk about some of my experiences as a physician, as a woman, as a mom, and kind of getting in the middle of all of us and training to make sure that people understand that they're not alone in some of these situations and that they have support and they don't have to feel like they're like the random out by our person struggling through this. And so I really wanted to make sure that they knew that there's people right alongside them that have some of these concerns and some of these issues. And the biggest thing that I wanted to communicate is, you know, again, talking to people about physicians, suicide and mental health issues, people tend to isolate themselves in the medical profession. They don't want to talk about maybe they had a history of assault, maybe they had history of abuse. They don't want to and that they don't want to talk about it. They feel shame about that, and so I wanted to make sure that...

...people knew it's not their fault. As a part of your story, we just have to kind of learn from it and grow together. So for the for this and so it's not a medical book, it's not a book about Covid it's really more a book about the mental health industry and dealing with some of the stereotypes or stings that medical professionals deal with. Yeah, I mean it's a memoir it's it's, you know, stuff from what I was younger and how I saw things, and really I wanted to make sure that we are addressing women's health. We were addressing, you know, some of the pretty significant issues that exist for women in our culture today. Basically address even losing a child, you know. So I've been very fortunate enough to have patients who are amazing and compelling and also allow me to share some of their stories in the book as well. And so people again, losing a child is a horrible thing that people have to deal with, and so I really wanted to look at that and own that and make sure that people knew again they aren't alone. There's people out there, they can help them get through this and we can push on together. So who should get the book? So, I mean, honestly, I think anyone who's struggling. I mean they could just like look at my life and think their life is probably better than minds. That might be helpful. But you know, women, women in medicine, MOM's, people who are working in advocacy work, people who just want to be more educated about the medical old training process, people who, you know, just need a good story and I think it's important for us to make sure that we can be authentic with each other. Well, thank you for the effort. How long has this been in your mind to do? How long have you have? Some people say every we all have a book in us, but how long it did you know we have to have to be kind of called to say I want to do now's the time, I want to do it. So how long has this been coming over about? You know, honestly, I hadn't written anything before covid. I knew I could write. I wrote like in high school right I was in I was in forensics and sports and plates x phone and all the nerdy things, right, and I hadn't written articles, I hadn't appeared on shows, I hadn't done anything really until my life kind of changed a couple years ago and I change jobs and really kind of realized how limited our time could be. In wanted to make sure that I was helping as many people as I could and with Covid I had a little bit of additional time just not taking the kids to all of their sports events and everything, and I actually end up writing this book in three days and one of my you are over achiever. See You. You you're always down on yourself, but you're quite be faber, so one of my editors said, because I was giving him pages as there, because he offered to do it for free, right because of course, like I don't even know when it's going to get published, and I would email him pages as they as I wrote them, and he's like, I've never seen anyone right this fast and it took him much longer to do the initial she'll edit, then me to write it, which is not a normal thing for him because he's a speedy guy. And from there the publishing world is just a unique world that you kind of have to learn as you go and you need editors and sub editors and proofers and that whole thing. You need to find someone who actually believes in your story and things that it's valuable to put all there into the world, and I was very fortunate to have colleagues I met along the way with patient Care Heroes, and a publisher heard me talk and talk to me and believed in my story and decided to go with it. So Fisher King publishing now stuck with me, and so the whole process has been about a year, but it's definitely been a learning moment. Okay, well, that's a very it's very exciting and I guess what do you as you look moving forward? I mean, what do you hope comes from the book and how does it relate to the patient care heroes initiative and are they linked her are they very separate, and how does that movement go? Yeah, so I think, I mean everything I do is kind of linked, right, and I mean really I wrote this book...

...for a lot of the women in medicine who are struggling to be seen and heard. And when you really look at the stats, thirteen percent of healthcare CEOS are women and I would probably guess that now, during this pandemic, that number is a gone down even more. and women would like a seat at the table. They want to be heard, they want to be involved, they want to help make decisions and I hear all the time that women are struggling to even exist in their specialty because they're just kind of looked at as this for an entity and not taken seriously. We have people with NDA's and nondisparagements and they can't tell their stories about harassment or even sexual assault in the workplace because of agreements that they reach which allegedly were protect to protect them. However, really again we're enabling people who are predatorial, and so the book really was to kind of open up people's eyes on things that go on in healthcare and to be a voice for people who don't want to speak up about their things that have happened to them and to hopefully open up some really honest dialog because really the Gender Racial Equity Issues, in my opinion, is at the root of a lot of the toxic healthcare culture that we have and until we can acknowledge that come up with fixes for those issues, we can never move forward. And those are really at the root of the burnout and the women leaving medicine and anxiety, depression suicide, and so we really have to cut things out of the room. Yeah, well, I mean it's we love having you on because we love your passion around that and you're clearly you're clearly making a difference and having a difference. When you think that, when you think about the book, what's kind of can you give us a little bit of a previewing? Just tell a little bit what's one of your favorite stories that came out of the book or which one of the ones that you think some readers might find most compelling. I mean, everyone's going to relate to a different story, right, so all of us are going to true become kind of in wrapped in in different things that triggers different emotions from us. I think, you know, I it was hardest for me to talk about a sexual assault that I experienced, and so I think that that might elicit some emotion from people, especially sexual assault survivors, and I think that it's important for people to put that out there because I think there's a lot of denial and of course my, you know, own mother, when I was seventeen when this happened, didn't want it to come out. She was running for politics, right, so it was basically my bad. I put myself in a situation that wasn't good, but it could not reflect poorly on her, and so we basically pretended like it didn't happen. And I think we really need to take ownership of how we're talking about sexual assault in constent because even if you look at what's going on now, and there was that fraternity where that freshman was actually assaulted and his father had basically rushed him out of the country, so that he didn't have to have consequences. If that was my son, then I can guarantee it won't be my son because I will make sure that no child of mine would do something like that. But if that was my son, I would be bringing them down to the police station myself. I would make sure that there was accountability there, because this is how you have serial predators in the world and I think we really have enabled individuals to get away with things that they shouldn't be able to get away with. Stuff. My main goes are good or hard topics and a thank you for your Palmer ability and I'm sure that was not easy to write those sections as zero editor was waiting for the parts of the story, but I know that that was, I'm sure, a difficult time for you and hopefully writing and writing about it is a bit of healing for you as well. Wow. Yeah, so lots to look forward to with the book delivering coming out very soon, as we kind of close up here today. So let's talk talk about mental health and what are you hearing in the market? Last time we talked there we are. We were forecasting and believing that we're going to see a big slingshot coming out of this. I think, and...

...you can tell you the agree. I think it's been a little mask because the healthcare community has been forced to rally again due to this dealt the surge that we're having. The way I've been paraphrasing or summarizing some of the conversations I've been having with doctors on the frontline is they are exhausted and they're angry, especially this time around, because some of it could be prevented. But and they're just they're just tired and it's just, you know, every time you think, okay, this is going to be the down slope and then I can catch my breath, you know, here it comes around the curve again. So obviously maybe there's that's why I said masked. You know, mental health stress, because their rallied there. You know, it's kind of like you get that adrenaline rush again and you got to be on the call of duty, but at some point we're going to crash and burn. So what are you ring out of the mental health community and what do we think is going to be some of the ongoing challenges we're going to have? Yeah, you know, and I think you're exactly right, because people rally even if you look at positions who were suicidal. Before they died by suicide, they did their shift, they made sure that their patients were cared for, you know, and I think that that really is intrinsic and most of us, because we want to be a team player, we want to go out there, we want to make sure people are protected, and so it is the delayed reaction where we see some of this kind of self medicating and then suicide. So I do project that's going to be after we kind of have a break from the action. So we haven't seen the crash yet. I know still might, I mean, I hope not. No, I mean we're still having our waves right, and so I don't think it's it's going to be a long time before we're seeing the actual effects on mental health and what the consequences are going to be. However, I can say with certainty that we are losing many amazing individuals to burn out and just done with healthcare and I think that that's just scare everyone because we are seeing shortages that I haven't seen in over twelve years. I've never had to deal with staffing shortages like we like we've had, and my concern is that these individuals will just give up on healthcare all together and we'll lose some very talented people, including positions. Right. So we know you. We know your pro vaccination, pro vaccine. We've established that. Any thoughts on you know that that seems to be this kind of push and pull that the health systems are wrestling with right now where they want to mandate the vaccine. They believe it's the right thing for patient care. But, to your point, the staffing shortages are so great. The concern is is, if I put this out and I have mass resignation or there's a chunk of my people who do not come back because of that, where am I going to what am I going to do? Like you know, I'm already understaff. How do I do something that pushes that out? And it's a balance. But you said earlier, which is doing the right thing or, you know, doing that convenient thing or the thing that is going to hopefully allow you to keep giving the care that you need? Honestly, I think that the mandates are great. I A hundred percent support them. I want to make sure that my patients are not exposed to an individual who is covid positive, especially in my pregnant population, where we know that the outcomes are worse and honestly, if you are an individual that works in health care cannot look at the science, I don't think that I would trust to taking care of my patients, especially my vulnerable patients. I don't want to take care of a Nikki baby that's twenty four weeks and it's going to be very vulnerable to these things. So I think that the healthcare systems are doing the right thing by men dating it. I don't think that anyone that works in healthcare should have to have a mandate because they should be able to read the journals, read the data and make their own decisions. However, at the point where we are going to put other staff and patients at risk, unless they have a mandate, then that's exactly what...

...they should do. Yeah, well, again, we're pro with it as well too, but obviously for the CMOS, you know, like in the role you're helping with, and you know, the big health system cheap medical officers, it's a real it's real struggle. I think Navon announced the North Carolina healthcare that they were going to have about a hundred and seventy five terminations or letters that they put out if they were these being individuals, didn't show prove a first vaccination, and I think, I mean it's a big number to have to lose out of your health system. Well, it's frustrating, I think, on my end as well, because, when you look at it, we all had to be vaccinated to be on the words. In Medical School, like is a third and fourth year. I have my tighters drawn. I had to like bring my little card from my pediatriction copy that. I had to submit it so that I was allowed to care for patients. T be right. For All, I have to get my TV, you know, Manteu test every year, you know. And so I do not understand what the resistance is. Yes, if we did not have literature that supported it, if we did not have literature that proved its efficacy and safety, than fine, okay, great, but sure we do. And so at this point, when we have an FDA approved vaccine for healthcare workers, to not be able to take a step back and reflect on the choices that they're making it how that could potentially affect other individuals, I think that that shows a certain level of negligence. Yeah, don't I don't don't disagree. So what's next for the ever busy Dr Stecker? Where do you want to see patient care heroes going and what would be a big wind to close out the two thousand and twenty one year for you guys? Well, I'm just really excited about linked inclusion being the CMO for them, and we're probably going to roll patient care heroes into some of the work we're doing with them as well, and what will be great about that is we're hoping to have more impact, greater population of people who need resources. So tell if you can what tell us a little bit in the last few minutes you tell us a little bit about linked inclusion. So being assigned the CMO, but but want to share with the listeners who are they and what are they? What are they doing and why you're excited to be there? Yeah, so it's it's again, it's a startup. I'm really excited to be part of it because we're looking at individuals who essentially have been excluded from the conversation, right, whether it's black men right, like look at black men in the medical field, right. So we have not even had an increase in those individuals applying to medicine. If you look at the date, it's not that we're not accepting them, it's that we're not even having them apply. And why is that? And it's probably because of cultural issues in the field of medicine. If I knew I was not going to be treated appropriately by the culture I was entering into, then I probably won't enter into it. And so we're trying to look at all of those little nuances and do what we can to fix healthcare systems the world of healthcare, or trying to look at how we supply healthcare and we're trying to look at overall wellness, and wellness really is not just going to the doctor right. Wellness is the mental health aspect. Wellness is how you see yourself in your community. Wellness is being able to get close that fit you as a plus size person, trying to apply for jobs and to feel good about yourself, you know. And so what I'm excited about is a really a new generation of people looking at how to really take care of people in their entirety. That's awesome. So we'll we will put more information to them on the website with this so we can get more people again. We have patient care heroes is on the link from the last episode. We'll repost that, will put linked inclusion and let's just continue to to kind of get this message out. As we wrap up. I know we always close our episodes with WHO's your hero? Last time you told this Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We said, we said rock on. That was a good one. We were that was we were happy with that. That...

...was a good answer and we like that. But when you think about just, you know, maybe something out of the book or something that you know even in your past, is there somebody else you want to give a shout out? Or do we want to do we want to stay with our BG? I don't know. I was thinking about this. I think I'm sticking with OURBG. I mean, look at what's going on in Texas. I mean we need people who are going to stand up and descent when something is not right, when it's not a human right. And what makes me really disappointed with the legislation in Texas especially is we have a topic, pregnancies, that we diagnose after six weeks, right, and in that case a mom and a baby are are dead. Right. I mean people are not looking at the nuances of what legislation can mean medically, and I think that particularly the government should not be able to legislate what we kind of can't do for someone if it's going to keep them safe and healthy and alive. MMM Yeah, okay, our BG. I mean to go with that. No, you got a good hand, you play it. That's what they say. Exacted the block to her, and this was before she died. God rest our soul. I wrote this and I and I'm like, really sad, I can't mail our copy right because she she was a phenomenal woman. Well then, I'm glad we I'm glad we double down on our that's awesome. Well, Dr Stecker, pleasure. Thank you always your time. Thank you for working tirelessly for these very important issues that you are so passionate about. Your Great Dr, great mom, great advocate, and we appreciate you being part of the show. Thanks for joining us, thanks for having me. You've been listening to heroes of healthcare. For more. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit us at heroes of healthcare podcastcom.

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