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A thin veil of hope for health care professionals burning out, drowning in debt, or both, a lottery is a form of legalized gambling on the state level that many health care professionals play as individuals or as groups with pooled funds. The thought is that if health care professionals can win the lottery, they can pull up their letters of resignation, which have been drafted and sitting in a drawer for several years, hand it to their employers, and say "Sayonara!" and achieve the dream of leaving modern medicine altogether.[1][2] This is a bit of a pipe dream, as no lottery jackpot is large enough to make a visible dent in student loans.[3][4]

Unfortunately the odds of winning are spectacularly small. In a form of lottery where someone tries to correctly guess at 6 numbers between 1 and 49, the odds of winning are quoted as 1 in nearly 14,000,000. To any nurse or doctor, the rate of burnout appears to be 1 in 1, which is why they buy lottery tickets in the first place, well knowing they might have to enter into work begrudgingly the next day if they fail to win the latest mega jackpot.[5][6] But in the same manner you never want to take away hope from a patient, you never want to take hope away from a health care professional when it comes top playing the lottery. Sure, it's habit-forming, but it's also a defense mechanism.

Additional Reading


  1. Hoping for a Powerball Miracle, Healthcare Providers Across America Drafting Resignation Letters (Gomerblog)
  2. Doctor Achieves Lifelong Dream of Quitting Medicine Forever (Gomerblog)
  3. Following $2 Million Lottery Win, Doctors Still in Debt (Gomerblog)
  4. At Medical School Reunion, Class of 2007 Celebrates 10 Years of Debt, Utter Exhaustion (Gomerblog)
  5. With No Powerball Winner, Millions of Healthcare Professionals Begrudgingly Show up to Work (Gomerblog)
  6. Doctor Wins Lottery: Patient List Free of Jerks, A**holes (Gomerblog)

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