Physicians Deal with Difficult and Stressful Work Conditions on a Daily Basis

Symptoms of being overtired

When college graduates head off to medical school they have dreams of challenging situations, life saving decisions, and big, fat paychecks. What they do not always anticipate, however, is managing anger in the workplace, recovery for severe burnout, and the constant need to be on the lookout for signs of physical exhaustion. The fact of the matter is, though, that physicians have some of the highest rates of all of these problems. Long hours, difficult patients, the stress of having someone else’s life in your hands are all reasons that may physicians find themselves falling victim to workplace stress, sometimes to the point where the health of the physician is at risk.

Knowing how to how to handle anger in the workplace and making sure that you and your colleagues watch for signs of physical exhaustion can help many physicians happily continue working in the career that they love. With scheduled time off and understanding spouses or partners, for instance, it is possible to make sure that you are able to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Recognizing Signs of Job Burnout Can Help You Take Better Care of Yourself

Physician, heal thyself is not just a popular historical saying. It is also an important truth that doctors and other healthcare providers across the nation have to be aware of if they want to continue in their chosen field. There is simply no way to avoid the long hours that are needed in some of the most difficult surgery settings, for instance, but it is important to make sure that you are able to find a way to relax and step away once or twice a week. In many cases, the time off may need to come at the end of a long stretch of rigorous work days. By taking a week, or even longer, off at a time, physicians can make sure that they give themselves time to rest and relax with their families.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the stress that many in the healthcare profession face on a regular basis:

  • Emergency doctors suffer the highest rates of burnout of all medical professionals, with 59% agreeing they felt burned out, according to a January 2017 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Survey.
  • When compared to the general population, physicians have a 10% to 20% higher divorce rate.
  • Female physicians rated themselves higher on the physician burnout scale at 55% compared to male physicians who rating themselves at 45%, according to a Medscape Physician Lifestyle Survey.
  • Physicians are almost twice as likely as the general U.S. population to report being dissatisfied with their work-life balance, according to a recent survey.
  • 35.2% is the current overall burnout rate among U.S. physicians.
  • 44%. is the average burnout rate for physicians who are 35 years old and younger.
  • 45.8% of physicians are considered to be experiencing at least one symptom of burnout, according to a recent study.
  • Compared to the general population, a recent study indicated that medical students report a rate of depression that is 15% to 30% higher, a fairly significant margin.

Students who go to medical school get used to enduring long hours and rigorous tasks, but not all of them are completely prepared for the exhausting workload that follows once they enter their career. Finding a support group and focusing on ways to relax when you are off the clock can help you have a longer, healthier career. Knowing the signs of physical exhaustion and making sure that you get the help that you need is essential if you want to make sure that you are at your best when you are with patients and that you are getting the rest that you need when you are away.

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July 2024
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