Archives / 2021 / September
  • Explore Ecuador on a medical mission

    Tags: Ecuador, medical mission, Katherine Lynn Walker

    By Katherine Lynn Walker, MD

    A warm hello to my fellow AAFP members! My name is Katherine Lynn Walker. I am a board-certified family medicine physician with more than 20 years of clinical experience and more than 10 years of leadership experience on international medical brigades. I work in a private practice located in Boulder County, Colorado. And I also serve as an adjunct faculty member at the St. Anthony North Family Medicine Residency in the greater Denver area.

    I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce MissionCMEcuador, a program I developed and presented at the AAFP Global Health Summit National Conference in 2020. In collaboration with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health in Otavalo, this one-of-a-kind international opportunity allows U.S.-based physicians to provide medical care in underserved areas of the Otavolo Canton, located in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador.

  • Steps to raise awareness during Suicide Prevention Month

    Tags: anticipate joy, work stress, counseling, suicide prevention

    By Anticipate Joy

    There are few things in our world that are more heartbreaking than suicide. It is a final symptom of horrible mental illness, so severe it would drive someone to take their own life. With suicide being the tenth overall leading cause of death in the United States — the second for individuals between 10 and 34 — nearly everyone has been impacted by suicide in some way, shape, or form.

    However, the epidemic of suicide is even worse among medical professionals. The suicide rate for male-identifying physicians is 1.41 times higher than the general male population, and even higher for female-identifying physicians, at 2.27 times the average female rate. Due to the exhaustive nature of your position, burnout, depressive symptoms, and suicide risk are much higher for physicians than the general public.