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Moral injury in modern medicine and how to heal health care workers

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, respiratory therapist Babu Paramban talks on the phone next to hospital beds while taking a break in the COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. Doctors and nurses around the U.S. are becoming exhausted and demoralized as they struggle to cope with a record-breaking surge of COVID-19 patients that is swamping hospitals and prompting governors to clamp back down to contain the virus. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, respiratory therapist Babu Paramban talks on the phone next to hospital beds while taking a break in the COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. Doctors and nurses around the U.S. are becoming exhausted and demoralized as they struggle to cope with a record-breaking surge of COVID-19 patients that is swamping hospitals and prompting governors to clamp back down to contain the virus. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

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The United States has the largest for-profit health care system in the world.

More and more health care professionals say that they’re being forced to make choices that are bad for patients.

“We not only feel that we can’t provide what we know the patient needs. But we feel complicit in a money-first system that’s asking us to act in ways that put profit above what’s best for the patient.”

And that leads doctors to suffer from moral injuries.

Today, On Point: Moral injury in modern medicine.

Guests

Dr. Wendy Dean, former emergency room doctor and psychiatrist. President and co-founder of the non-profit The Moral Injury of Healthcare. Author of the new book If I Betray These Words: Moral Injury in Medicine and Why It’s So Hard for Clinicians to Put Patients First. (@WDeanMD)

Also Featured

Dr. Jessica, OB-GYN in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Jamie Wooldridge, pediatric pulmonologist.

Dr. Elena Perea, hospital psychiatrist in western North Carolina.

Book Excerpt

 

Excerpt from If I Betray These Words by Dr. Wendy Dean. All rights reserved. Not to be republished without permission of the publisher, Steerforth Press.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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