Podcast Episode 34 – “Why 50% of Female Physicians Have PTSD, and How to Fix That!” with Cecille Ahrens

Cecille Ahrens

Episode 34 – Did you know that up to 50% of female physicians report having PTSD from their jobs!  We all know that burnout is common, but PTSD is upwards of half of all female physicians?  That’s unacceptable.  That’s insane.  It’s no wonder that half of all physicians surveyed in 2018 reported plans to go part time or retire early in the next few years.  Our guest this week is Cecille Ahrens.  She’s a mental health professional and host of the Get Mental Podcast. 

Cecille has over 20 years of applied experience.  She specializes in PTSD & Trauma, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Relationship Issues, Domestic Violence and Women’s Issues.  In her practice, she sees a lot of high-octane professionals who experience burnout, depression, anxiety, and even PTSD through their interactions at their job. 

Cecille is passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health and raising mental health awareness.  This conversation is a really important one for anyone who is experiencing or has experienced symptoms of burnout at work.  Up to 70% of physicians surveyed report experiencing symptoms of burnout, so I guarantee that this is relevant to you or to someone who is close to you.  This is an important episode.   


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“We have an ethical responsibility to take care of ourselves so we can give our patients the best care.”

 – Cecille Ahrens


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Meet Cecille Ahrens

Cecille Ahrens

Cecille is the Owner and Clinical Director of Transcend Therapy, Inc., a private practice
providing individual, relationship and group counseling. A Bi-lingual, Bi-Cultural
Psychotherapist with over 20 years of applied experience, she specializes in PTSD &
Trauma, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Relationship Issues, Domestic Violence and
Women’s Issues.

Cecille is the Creator and Co-host of Get Mental Radio and Podcast, hosted on Facebook
LIVE with Co-Host and motivational speaker, Tee Smith.

Cecille is passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health and raising mental health
awareness. She loves to have fun while pursuing life goals. She enjoys music, food,
family time and nature.

Connect with Cecille:



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Show times

  • 00:00 – Introduction to the episode
  • 01:21 – Subscribe to the podcast, and please leave a review!
  • 02:18 – Fill out the 2020 Podcast Survey to help me know how to make this podcast even better.
  • 04:07 – Introduction to Cecille Ahrens.
  • 05:27 – There’s a huge need for mental health support.
  • 05:59- Why is there still such a stigma against mental health challenges?  Cecille Ahrens suggests that it has to do with the language that we use to describe the mental health disorders that we treat.
  • 08:48 – It’s common for people to delay care because they’re ashamed, guilty, or afraid of getting help.  
  • 10:03 – Burnout and depression in the medical community isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s starting to gain recognition and acknowledgement.
  • 12:25 – Cecille Ahrens says there’s a time to “push through” and a time to seek help.  The key is self-awareness.
  • 15:03 – Physicians tend to take care of others and not take care of themselves.  In particular, it’s very uncommon for physicians to seek professional mental health.   
  • 17:04 – Being required to disclose the fact that we seek mental health treatment on license renewal perpetuates the negative stereotypes of mental health.
  • 19:14 – Toxic leadership and a toxic work environment is one of the top factors that lead to depression and anxiety in the workplace.
  • 20:24 – What kind of side effects do these workplace stressors create for physicians?  Cecille Ahrens shares her thoughts. 
  • 21:41 – Physicians can experience PTSD from a hostile work environment.  
  • 23:02 – Substance abuse is common in physicians who are experiencing a toxic work environment.  Cecille Ahrens suggests that this can be improved with an improvement in leadership.
  • 25:10 – You have more power and choice than you think.
  • 26:18 – How do you help people set boundaries for themselves.  
  • 27:09 – As leaders in an organization, how can we support our team members if they confide in us about a mental health struggle?  Cecille Ahrens shares her ideas.  
  • 29:16 – With all the emphasis on positive culture and strong leadership, why are so many companies missing the mark?
  • 32:30 – What can we as leaders do to help foster a culture where people feel more supported and empowered?
  • 34:57 – Our team focus and mutual support has got to be “baked into the culture.”  Cecille Ahrens shares what to do if you talk to your leadership and they won’t help.
  • 36:57 – Know your guidelines and workplace policies so you can leverage your contract to help you achieve what you know.
  • 38:20 – The best thing you can do in order to destigmatize the mental health challenges this country is facing is to just talk about it!  Over 50% of female physicians have at times felt like they met criteria for a diagnosable mental health disorder.
  • 41:12 – Just because everyone before you suffered in silence and refused to seek treatment for mental health challenges doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to do things. 
  • 43:00 – The more preexisting mental health conditions that you have, the more you’re at risk for developing additional mental health conditions such as work-related PTSD.
  • 46:48 – Cecille Ahrens shares her parting advice.
  • 49:01 – Connect with Cecille Ahrens
  • 51:30 – Summary of the episode
  • 52:40 – signing off


Listen to the Next Episode

effectively communicate with Dr. Brad Block

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burnout, career, dentist, depression, physician, practice management, PTSD, trauma

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