The pandemic left the world at a stand still for months. No one could have anticipated the demand on essential workers demand especially on the medical industry. Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff took major hits during COVID-19 by being first responders and front-line workers. While day in and day out medical workers focused on healing patients, they put their own medical concerns to the back burner which left a lot of them in burn out. A lot of people began to take notice on the effect that the pandemic was having on medical professionals was when the news would report suicide from doctors and nurses. One of the hardest hit cities during COVID-19 was New York City, with millions of cases reported and thousands of deaths, doctors and nurses worked overtime around the clock to treat patients. Dr. Lorna M. Breed and Emergency Room Doctor at Manhattan Hospital succumbed to suicide under the demanding pressure and burnout. Many others in the industry have similar stories of burnout and unfortunately didn’t seek help in time. Dr. Brooke M. Womack-Elmore has been a saving grace for medical professionals during the pandemic by creating an outlet to give the front-line workers an avenue of release.
“Just like every little kid, I wanted to be a doctor. However, as I got older and my father became ill, I watched medical professional’s mis-treat him and there was a huge lack in compassion and bedside manner. Everything that was lacking was everything that I wanted to be. I attended Duke University School of Medicine and became a Clinician. I wanted to become an advocate, even though I became a practitioner I advocated for my patients and my colleagues who sometimes felt like they didn’t have a voice. God appointed in this position of advocacy and inspiration amongst being a clinician. So, this evolved into an entrepreneurial passion to empower other medical professionals because a lot of time we have a voice, but we don’t necessarily know how to use it. So, I became a clinician to hopefully make an impact.”
While everyone across the globe was affected by COVID-19, medical professionals were working around the clock to not only heal patients but also ensure that they themselves didn’t get sick or spread the deadly virus to their loved ones. However, the one thing that is never really discussed in relation to the medical workers is: mental health. Its two words that can lead to a closed-door conversation for some and for others an open door to pain. Even though many celebrated the front-line workers in the medical field in different ways, one must wonder how they honestly dealt with what seems like a never-ending pandemic, Womack-Elmore says,
“The Burnout is real, it’s very real in fact and too often ignored. Yes, we are celebrated at times, but this is an everyday situation. Many doctors are afraid to admit to having burnout or seek help for it because doctors are looked at as superhuman and not ever supposed to get sick or have any mental wellness issues. The stigma is horrible because everyone experiences moments of mental exhaustion and that doesn’t mean that you are mentally ill or that its at a server state that you would cause harm to yourself or others. Especially during the pandemic so many medical professionals lost their lives due to burnout and it’s proven with statistics.”
Dr. Womack-Elmore wanted to assist others in the medical industry to be able to move with the times of the pandemic and go digital, she says
“I wanted to make sure that the knowledge that I had, I was able to share with those who truly needed it. So, I came up with and created in the process was the six-figure digital practice. Its essentially the blueprint for health and medical professionals to take their existing knowledge that they have already acquired and repackage it and rebrand it. Also be able to leverage in a way that they can provide it and make an impact in peoples lives in a larger scale. The blueprint was something that I put together because I felt stifled working in the clinic, I didn’t feel that I was making the impact that I know I could. I was lacking resources and the economy was shifting into a digital space. I knew I had more to give, and the blueprint is a 95% hands off digital model and takes your knowledge and digitalized it in order for you to make a passive income stream to free up time and energy to hopefully accumulate some money. It has been able to help me and other colleagues who have implemented the blueprint.”
“So how do we as non-medical workers support the medical community even now,” Dr. Womack-Elmore says. “Just ask how we are doing. Something as simple as; How are you doing? Goes so far and it means so much. Because if they quit, if they walk out and just give up because they are burnt out, then we are in trouble. Right now, it’s really all about showing compassion and concern.”
So they next time you visit your doctor or see a nurse in the store, be sure to offer some compassion because our heroes need it.