Doctor Heal Thyself — Doctor’s burnout

In every work place there is a risk for a professional burnout. However,this risk high in the medical profession due to the nature of work, patient load and expectations, the current healthcare system, and the strains right from the early days of medical training. The process of becoming a doctor and practising, in its entirety is stressful.

Burnout has been studied among practising doctors in many parts of the world including the USA, European countries and Latin America,while very few studies are being reported from India.

45% of Indian physicians show at least one symptom of burnout.

A common occupational hazard in high stress professions, burnout can cause a downward spiral of physical, emotional and spiritual energy.The poor doctor-patient ratio in India, limited speciality training programs and higher work pressure on a few specialists as the reasons for the burnout.

A recent study showed that burnout was worse among female and senior doctors.

The resultant exhaustion, disengagement in the form of cynicism and self — doubt and loss of expectations or reduced sense of personal accomplishment and acknowledgement can drive the best of practitioners into unexpressed depression and regret.

A physician can avoid burnout if they are aware of the stress when it arises. There are some proven methods which if followed effectively could protect against burnout.

Three simple steps to prevent burnout:

1. Reduce & Resist: Maintaining a positive work — life balance and environment will go a long way.

2. Relax & Rejuvenate: Take a break from work to go on a vacation or to reset your energy levels.

3. Restore & Recuperate: Work can become monotonous but with a little team effort, it can become engaging and help you and your peers gather strength and find your way back to your passion.

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