From all of us @mydoctorsmeds,
Betsy Gall was living the American dream. Married to an oncologist with three healthy children; life was pretty darn good. That all changed on Thanksgiving Day of 2019 when her "life of the party" physician husband took his own life. Matthew Taylor Gall, M.D., M.S., who had devoted his entire life to saving lives, was dead at the young age of 49.
The Illusion of the Perfect Profession is a culmination of Betsy's journals, letters to God, and her journey with faith throughout this horrific traumatic experience that left her family shattered and asking how could this happen.
Through reading and research, Betsy discovered that physician suicide is a trend. One million patients lose their doctors to suicide every single year. This is a subject matter that, unfortunately, needs to be widely discussed to help change a system that is undoubtedly broken.
Book Review From Pamela Marie Hobby, our CEO
Finding Betsy Gall’s book, The Illusion of the Perfect Profession, came after I read an amazingly encouraging comment Betsy made on one of the @drlornabreenheroesfoundation’s IG post. Immediately, I ordered the book and read it in 2 days.
I’m merely a former patient…that was saved by medical professionals just like her late husband and oncologist Matthew Gall. I had to leave the room to gather myself when I read that one of the hardest parts of Matthew’s day-to-day was watching patient’s die.
Becoming invested in her story was so effortless because she courageously writes first person from her journal. You are peering into her life, her prayers, her thoughts, her devastation, her dedication to being a: wife of a physician, mother, daughter, widow, family member, and friend. She doesn’t hold back on her self criticism or questioning her life decisions, something we all think quietly but try not to expose.
It’s an intimate look into what the years, days, minutes, chaos and order looked like before her husband’s death. It takes GUTS to let the world read your personal journal and Betsy, you are a gutsy lady for writing this deeply touching book.
I couldn’t put this book down because you feel this kinship to Betsy as you read more and more of her words. At times it is stream of consciousness and sometimes it is unabashedly mocking herself. You want to be her friend, to root for her all the while you know that the subject matter at hand has the weight of the world. She recognizes the overwhelm, she is orderly in her approach to “checklists in life” and she inspires by being the DOER that she is. The sheer volume of statements of gratitude that she writes each day in her journal challenged me to see what more I too could be grateful for every morning. When she says she put one foot in front of the other…she means it!
Dare to read this book. I dare you! Why, because we have a healthcare silent crisis on our hands. Physician suicide cannot go another day in the direction it is going. Her words are clamouring for more support. I hope every hospital administrator reads this.
I’m going to gift Betsy Gall’s book The Illusion of the Perfect Profession as much as possible because at the root it is a story of perseverance, importance of family, and this silent provider crisis on our hands. It is also a rallying cry to thank your doctor at your next visit.
Betsy, thank you for having the balls to write this book. Thank you for making sure your voice is at the table when it comes to physician suicide and mental health. Thank you for opening your heartbreak to the world. May we all dare to be this courageous. You went for it and reading this book will be something I will never forget. May you think of me when you reminisce on your Matthew keeping old notes from patients. Doctor Matthew Gall’s legacy lives on through you!
My Doctor's Meds would love for everyone that follows us to take the time to learn about all the policy @drlornabreenheroesfoundation is moving in the right direction.
It takes BOOKs like Betsy's, foundations like the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation and proactive programs like ours at My Doctor's Meds to help our medical professionals. As Betsy reminds us all...this is a silent crisis and she is not going to shut up about it.