In “The Vanishing Oath” Ryan Flesher, MD, bravely invites us along with him as he struggles to overcome feelings of burnout and disappointment in a profession that has required years of sacrifice. Along his path, he finds other physicians – even quite early on in their careers – with similar frustrations and disappointments. He touches on the factors that have contributed to physician burnout, as well as public perception of physicians. The movie presents statistics and projections that paint a somber portrait of the future of medicine for physicians. Despite the high stakes and expectations that come along with being an ER doctor, Flesher exposes the very human side of being a physician practicing medicine today.
“The Vanishing Oath” is a movie that should be seen by anyone who interacts with physicians. Based on our hopes for health care reform, this would be everyone in this country in the future. But any health care reform movement would be remiss if it did not take into account what is going on in the minds and hearts of these individuals on the front line. Bureaucracy and the “business of medicine” have resulted in a silent departure of physicians from clinical work.
Despite its overall solemn tone, and lack of real solutions (which mirrors the reality that Flesher is presenting), this movie is inspiring because it is a timely starting point for open dialogue about this heretofore quiet movement. Because the quality of healthcare is only as good as its providers, we need to find ways to prevent an exodus.
*For info regarding the film and purchasing a DVD: http://www.crashcartproductions.com/