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The PHQ2 And You

where do you stand?

In primary care, we ask something like 99% of our patients two questions at every visit.

  1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things

  2. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless

You have either asked your patients these questions or you have done the follow up when they have screened positive after answering these questions. It’s part of being a responsible provider; we know that screening for depression is an important part of our work.

But - who asked you?

Our work has, historically, been difficult. To an extent, we knew that when we signed up. Seeing people at their worst; delivering terrible, life-changing news; gaining first hand experience of the worst aspects of the human condition. All in a day’s work.

Sometimes we are fortunate to see patients who are just checking in for a routine follow up and who have no profound concerns; sometimes we get to see real healing and progress with patients that we care for - though those are usually not the bread and butter of our days, more of a rarity for most of us.

It’s a rollercoaster, healthcare. And we (sorta) knew that going in. But the past few years have cratered a lot of the morale that we have as a healthcare workforce.

How are you doing?

Do you feel that your workplace values you? Do you feel that you are cared for as much as your patients are? Do you feel like your voice is heard when decisions are being made? Do you feel like you have agency?

I’ve been working hard the past couple of months on resources intended to empower us as clinicians (see below). I do this because I love it, yes, but also because I want to see change in healthcare. We can continue to sit and wait for change that impacts us in a powerful and positive way, but we have tried that and look where that’s gotten us.

Instead, we can work to make the changes happen from the ground up. We can become empowered, we can link arms and take some agency back for ourselves.

My angle is time management, charting, coaching support. What’s yours?

[And in case no one asked you, how often have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless in the last two weeks? How often have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things you normally enjoy?]

Take care,

I do believe that time management is the ultimate form of rebellion. Time is a LUXURY ITEM, and you know exactly how much of a luxury time is when you are still working on your charts at 10:00 at night.

I do believe that when as many of us as possible get our time back in our control, we will be empowered to act on the other elements of the current healthcare system that serve very, very few of us and make meaningful change. If you need help with that, consider Chart Magic. And if you know someone who is struggling, tell them about Chart Magic. Hint: it’s not called “Chart Magic” for nothin’.

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