A career as a doctor can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be challenging.
Doctors are exposed to high levels of stress in the cause of their profession & susceptible to experience burnout. Stress among doctors depends on the type of job (i.e speciality, organization ), personality of the doctor, the interpersonal relationships with in & outside the health care fraternity.
In adequacy of staff & resources, sleep deprivation & confronting constant emotional & physical suffering, work/home conflict , patients expectations & demands are important stressors.
Burnout among doctors also increases risk of depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcohol & other substance use, marital dysfunction & most seriously Suicide.
Doctors have a suicide risk of 72% higher than the general population.
Managing stress among doctors involves a combination of support systems in the workplace, that is organizational interventions & training them from adopting appropriate adaptive coping skills.
Stress management interventions are needed to cope with the alarming levels of stress.
Several adaptive coping strategies are associated with lower burnout & secondary stress. Management at individual level like- Positive reframing:
- Create a social support network
- Practice mindfulness intervention
- Relaxation techniques ( JPMR, YOGA).
- Defining balance in time between work & family.
- Nurture positive relationships
- Practice acceptance.
- Strategy planning
- Venting is a good practice & helps release stress.
- Opt for stress reliving hobbies.
- Avoid substance use….
Managing doctors stress at organization level:
- Protection from malpractice threats
- Providing flexibility with starting & finishing time.
- Role Clarification Availability of adequate staff.
- Create “Assistance Program” in collaboration with mental health professionals for those experiencing mental health issues.
- Introducing family & team building activities Responsibility for creating awareness about mental health problems, de-stigmatize it..
Doctor’s wellness is an important element of the healthcare system that has implications on patient’s safety & quality care. So optimizing doctor’s wellness through individual & institutional interventions is recommended to cope up with the stress.
Article Compiled By:
DR. DEEPIKA VERMA
CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRISTMBBS, MD (Psychiatry) MIPS, MIMA.
HEALTH & HAPPINESS CLINIC
Plot No. 14, Basement LSC Market, Saini Enclave, East Delhi-110092
Pushpanjali Medical Centre
Anand Vihar, Karkardooma, East Delhi.
Max Super Speciality Hospital.