The anti-vaxxers who 'gaslight' medics are destroying the patient-doctor relationship in America, experts warn

On September 9, 2021, medical staff at the COVID-19 Intensified Care Unit treated a patient in Grants Pass. Nathan Howard/Getty Images
Unvaccinated COVID-19 patients are causing doctors to lose their cool.

As many people consider quitting medicine, a hotline for doctors is experiencing a spike in calls.

Insider was told by an Indiana emergency room doctor that he feels increasingly "demoralized."

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Insider has learned that anti-vaxxers are "gaslighting" doctors and are ruining the patient-doctor relationship in America. This is causing healthcare professionals to burnout.

Mona Masood from Philadelphia, a psychiatrist, started the Physician Support Line. She has spoken to more than 3000 doctors since March 2020. According to her, calls from all parts of the country have increased in the past few weeks.

Insider was told by Masood that the environment among healthcare workers has changed significantly over the course the pandemic. Many doctors are experiencing compassion fatigue or losing empathy for their patients.

She said, "We went from being heroes and being villains." "People began to question what we were saying and what we were doing. We were told other motives and gaslighted. All of these accusations were so absurd and unfounded."

Masood insists it's not "us against them", but says that COVID-19 has caused a visible breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship. This has made it extremely difficult for doctors who feel guilty for not being more helpful.

It's self-preservation. Masood stated that if people throw enough rocks, they will put up their hands and you will defend yourself.

Placard against vaxx

Insider was told by a southern Indiana emergency room doctor that many of his patients are suffering from mental exhaustion due to the constant battle against the deadly Delta virus.

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Stephen Sample, a Jasper Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center employee, stated that "all of us are getting tired" and added, "Especially when you get hit every day with this stuff. It's just really demoralizing."

It sucks. He said that he didn't know any other way to express it. "I spend a lot time crafting very thoughtful and lengthy responses to people who come at me with bad intents, trying to make my look stupid, or trying to call out me."

Some patients go to extremes. Sample spoke to Insider about a Florida colleague who was recently hospitalized following a bout with the coronavirus.

Sample claimed that the man refused to receive any of the treatments and signed a "do no resuscitate order" and later died believing that COVID-19 was a fraud.

One in five healthcare workers has considered quitting.

Experts fear that the mental fatigue could cause a mass exodus of healthcare workers as the pandemic drags along.

According to a study published in JAMA Network Open in April, more than half of healthcare workers (21%) have thought about leaving the workforce. 30% also considered reducing their hours due to COVID-19 stress.

Masood stated that it was difficult for people to even say they would like to quit after having put so much blood, tears and sacrifice into this career - years of both their lives and finances."

It is a sign of a larger crisis. She said that COVID is not the problem, but COVID was the last straw.

Sample is also aware that many colleagues, especially those at the end of their careers, are contemplating leaving the profession.

He said, "There are, there is, there are social networking groups out there with doctors who are looking for side jobs, looking for ways that to leverage their knowledge and go do something else."

Sample said, "I promise to you that if it were 56 and not 46, I would be gone."

The Physician Hotline can be contacted at 1 (888 409-0141 if you have mental health issues as a healthcare professional.

Insider has the original article.