Calling All Doctors: Casting Call

Doctors are sought to appear in a documentary about docs. This arrived by email, and I have her consent to reproduce it here:

I am co-producing a documentary with a colleague of mine, Dr. Ryan Flesher, board certified in emergency medicine. I am a licensed Social Worker from the healthcare industry who never fully understood, until recently, the impact and impossible demands made upon our doctors.

I now straddle two worlds: a view from the patient’s side and a view from the doctor’s side. It has been both an enlightening and disheartening experience. After all that I have learned from my research for this film – clearly, it is time that we elicit compassion for our physicians.

The physicians’ view is rarely talked about. If I had not researched, interviewed or discovered what doctors are experiencing, I would never have known. The film’s producer, Dr. Flesher is discouraged by the business and politice, not the art, of medicine for a myriad of reasons, all of which we will be highlighting in our documentary. He could quietly walk away from medicine, leave it all behind. But he is not doing that. Instead, he is doing something purposeful with his experience by creating a film that will give voice to physicians on what needs to be said. This film is a first of its kind.

We have traveled extensively across the United States filming physician wellness seminars, career counselors for doctors, physicians who love medicine, others who feel beaten down by it. We have met eager med students, medical school professors, healthcare gurus, mental health experts, MD’s in their retirement and otherwise.

The common misconception is that doctors choose medicine for monetary reasons. And, yet, our research shows, and experts concur, that on a fundamental level, doctors choose medicine for altruistic reasons of wanting to help people, heal them.

Our data indicates that 60% of physicians are suffering from low morale and that medicine is a fragmented brotherhood. Where is it written that doctors must take a vow of silence when treated unfairly? Medicine is fraught with regulations and bureaucracy all in the name of achieving perfection and, yet, by virtue of the fact that we are human, how can perfection possibly be achieved? Furthermore, medicine is not black and white, but an inexact science. Perhaps most disturbing of all, why are capable, caring healthcare professionals the only ones who are handcuffed to the threat of malpractice every patient of every day?

Dr. Flesher and I have put our careers on the line for the sake of this documentary. Why? Because taking care of those whom we depend upon to take care of us is that critical. It is an aspect of the healthcare crisis that has yet to be addressed. What we know about change is that it doesn’t happen by silently wishing and wanting. Change takes action, courage.

We have a number of people participating in this documentary. As filmmakers, however, we do not rule out that maybe your story is the one that needs to be heard.

We look forward to talking with you.

Nancy Pando, LICSW,
Producer Crash Cart Productions