Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Listen to Your Psychiatrist, Uncle Sam

uncle-sam Dear Uncle Sam:

I know it’s been a rough week. I’m sure you’re grieving the lost of life at Fort Hood just like the rest of us, but I’m compelled to write you this letter. I hope you take it in the spirit in which it is meant.

I read an article at today that made me wonder about your judgement. Since when did you stop listening to your doctors? The article was about Dr. Kernan Manion, a psychiatrist who wanted to help troops before they went postal on military bases. Uncle Sam, Dr. Manion use to work for you at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Then he got fired. Why did you give Dr. Manion the boot for stating the obvious? He pointed out that troops at Camp Lejeune are getting bullied by superiors and dumped into an overwhelmed mental health care system when they asked for psychiatric help.

Uncle Sam, people snap when they get pushed too far. I can attest to this fact because I work with the aftermath of battle as a psychiatric nurse. We have an overwhelming problem within our military, and this isn’t just about Camp Lejeune and Fort Hood. Do you remember Sgt. John Russell who gunned down five fellow soldiers at a military mental health facility in Baghdad early this year? You turned a deaf ear to Dr. Manion when he tried to help our troops. You declined to listen to his diagnosis.

If you don’t want to hear it from a doctor, maybe you’ll listen to a nurse. Bad things happen when you don’t take good care of your people. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you need to trust me on this. More people will die at the hands of their comrades if you don’t start listening to people like Dr. Manion.

Sincerely, Mother Jones, RN

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

You may also like these posts

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »