Medical doctors have always been one of the most stressed profession groups. Whether it’s reduced medical reimbursement rates, having to see more and more patients a day and not enough time to treat each one, confusing and conflicting healthcare and compliance policies, the daily stressors on the lives of physicians can be overwhelming.
Add to these stressors, the challenges to balancing home life with job demands and an ever increasing litigious society, the notion of having a long, happy and successful medical career is now being questioned by many.
New data coming out of research conducted in 2012 by the prestigious Mayo Clinic exposes the burnout toll that all of these stressors is having on the lives of almost half of the physicians surveyed (45.8%). And this statistic is revealing even before the profession braces for the influx of millions of new patients coming as a result of the new Affordable Healthcare Act.
The study suggests that physicians most at risk for burnout are those on the front lines of health care: emergency, internal medicine and family practice doctors.
So, what is the solution? Physicians can learn to manage and even master the stresses in their lives by paying attention to the negative thinking patterns that they habitually use when addressing those stressful events. For example, they can learn to let go of perfectionist behaviors, accept the fact that they are human and will make errors, give themselves more compassion, and continually infuse their thinking with self-praise for the heroic work that they accomplish on a regular basis.
In short, physicians need to eliminate self-critical thoughts, remember that they do make a major difference in the lives of so many people each year, and take care of their own mental health with frequent breaks, family time and relaxing activities.
Dr. Jack Singer is a Professional Psychologist and a Professional Speaker, speaking for medical and healthcare associations, hospital medical staffs, and large medical practices. His most frequently requested keynote is entitled: “Powerful Prescriptions to Prevent Hardening of the Attitudes in the Medical Profession.”
Dr. Singer can be reached at: 1-800-497-9880 or by email at: drjack @ funspeaker.com