Guess what? Your doctor is actually human! Yes, doctors suffer from the same problems that us ordinary mortals do including mental health issues like burnout, anxiety, depression and add whatever you want to this list.
I am aware that, here in the UK, there are increasing restrictions placed upon NHS doctors as to what they can do. From the outside it seems that some of them are being treated like little children; told what they can and can’t do. They’re no longer left to practice medicine as is needed for each patient who sees them. This lack of autonomy is highly stressful to them.
This article is also being shared with you because it reinforces some of the conclusions in a book that I recently read called Lost Connections. Initially I thought it was going to be some tree hugging hippie book about being happier (sorry if I caused offense to someone there). It’s a well written well structured book backed up by lots of good evidence and clear examples. Primarily it says that most of our mental illness issues are actually lost connections with things like meaningful work, good relationships, our core values, with nature and so on. Very little of the book is actually about problems people have in their own minds. Yet we still blame the individual for their mental health issues.
The article is strongly suggesting that mindfulness is a useful skill to reduce the likelihood of burnout. I totally agree with this. However, I don’t like seeing mindfulness offered us some sticking plaster when bigger issues need addressing.
If you’d like a little insight into what your doctor is actually going through, the pressures, the unreasonable conditions then have a look at this article.
The article featured below is written by Frederick Seacrest Southwick, MD and Steven Mark Southwick, MD
To reduce the high rates of physician burnout, health care systems must allow…