I am William Lynes (b1953). I am a retired physician, board-certified urologist, and award-winning author. In addition, I am a survivor, advocate, and speaker concerning physician burnout and suicide in the medical profession.
I attended the University of Texas Medical Branch, where I obtained my medical degree in 1981. I completed a surgical and urologic internship and residency at Stanford University Medical Center in 1987. I practiced general urology with the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group from 1987 to my retirement in 2003.
In 1998 and 2001, I sustained two catastrophic medical illnesses which profoundly changed my life. The first involved a six-week intensive care unit admission secondary to septic shock. In the second, I had a snowboarding accident with facial fractures and return to the intensive care unit. With these two events, I had surgeries, including two tracheostomies, septic shock, and a 40-pound weight loss.
On my return to medical practice, I was not the same. While I looked well, I was not. I began a downward spiral into darkness secondary to physician burnout, depression, anxiety, and bipolar affective mood disorder. My mental illness eventually manifested itself in three attempted suicides. To save my life, I retired from clinical practice in 2003.
A Man of Faith
I am a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, saved by faith in Jesus Christ since the late 1970s. I have been set free by this belief. It is only through my faith that I can face my past behavior.
My passion for writing began in 1990 with a challenge from my three sons to write a book about them. Pirates, Scoundrels, and Kings was the result, a fantasy adventure story set in medieval times. Since then, I have concentrated on medically-related fiction, publishing eight works. I have also enjoyed writing short fiction, especially biblical short stories.
I am an advocate, speaker, and writer concerning the problem of physician burnout and related suicide in the medical profession. We lose 400 US physicians to suicide annually. There are estimated to be 20,000 suicide attempts yearly, which amounts to two and one-half percent of all US physicians annually.
I live in Temecula, California, with my wife, Patrice. I have three grown sons. In addition, to their writing challenge, they challenged me to build them a castle. The result was a castle playhouse that stood in our backyard until recently.
The castle stood in our backyard in the Meadowview community of Temecula, California for well over 20 years. As a father, I built that castle for my family of three growing, fun-loving boys, their friends, and the neighborhood.
It stood approximately 25 feet tall, grass to the tallest spire. It had rounded walls capped with turrets, spired roofs, and a wooden drawbridge. The fortress possessed four levels, two routes of entry, connected with built-in ladders, and hatches. The surface was stuccoed to match our salmon-colored house.
Alas, in May 2014, because of structural issues, it was pulled down. Thirteen thousand pounds of debris were recovered in the process. It was a sign of love and exciting childhood. I hope these pictures capture some of the dreams that would occur, on a daily basis in the Lynes family.
"You should make a BirdHouse," she said. My wife, Patrice. is always encouraging me, maybe egging me on. For several years, she assigned me this task. "Make a BirdHouse that looks like the Castle," was her assignment. So I did, and now it is finished. What a job, too nice to stand outside. I hope you enjoy it.
Alas, the castle was torn down in 2014, due to structural issues. Here is that sad day.