Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
They found the body. A short paragraph buried in the newspaper. Dr Rose Polge left her hospital shift two months previously and had not been seen since. Her car was found parked by the sea.
A young doctor took her own life. I wanted to write about it at the time but it was difficult to find the words. It seemed to me a tragedy, a great loss of a young life full of potential. But, these words cannot capture quite what I felt. Where have we gone wrong?
It brought me back. I remembered my first year after qualification. It was brutal; a shock. Suddenly I felt I carried all the responsibility. I saw seriously ill patients in the middle of the night and had to make critical decisions. It was a small hospital. I was the cardiac arrest team. The tiredness was unrelenting, the gnawing anxiety continuous. ...continue reading