One bombshell fact of this time is the overwhelming depression rate in physicians. According to a research study, physicians are facing more significant mental health issues than the general population and other professionals. In the UK, the suicide rate among physicians is 2-5 times greater than the general public.
These issues have a strong connection with a high degree of burnout, academic life problems, unsupportive families, work-life imbalance, and no self-time. If this situation continues, it will soon become the worst dilemma in our society.
Here are the top six ways that can be employed by physicians to safeguard their mental health:
Mental health issues will grow stronger over time if left unspoken. It is the responsibility of senior professionals to open up about this issue in front of medical students and junior colleagues. Doctors are afraid to discuss their mental health because it could affect their reputation and can end their medical careers. “Physicians can save physicians.”
Coordination between physician communities is essential to discuss this issue openly. Senior medical professors should prepare future doctors by discussing these things. Hiding your stress and anxiety as a doctor will further complicate them leading to disturbed professional and personal life.
Doctors should establish mental health care societies that will allow doctors to speak up about their mental health without the fear of being judged for their professional competency.
Burnout is considered one of the leading causes of disturbed mental health in doctors. This issue continually persists from academic to professional life. Working for extended duty hours and dealing with complicated medical procedures during this time exhausts physicians.
Therefore, as a doctor, you need to select an organization with appropriate duty timings. Hospitals should build enough resources to hire several physicians according to their setting. Workload increases the chances of error, that in turn leads to anxiety about not being good at performing professional duties. One solution to this problem is representation by a locum tenens agency. Locum tenens can be an excellent option for physicians looking to achieve a more balanced and healthy work schedule, as it allows them to take on short-term contracts with less responsibility and more control over hours. It is essential to work and earn after hard working academic life but be cautious to avoid a job if it costs your mental health and vitality.
If doctors join each other in refusing such mentally hectic jobs, the system will improve itself.
Buy your place
Physicians’ anxiety continuously rises if they are living on rent and don’t own a home. It is a well-known fact that medical education is expensive that costs all of your guardian’s savings. After completing your education, nobody is agreed to get you a place to live. New jobs are always low-paying, and salaries increase with experience.
Low salary, financial planning, and most of all issue of buying own house increase stress. The physician mortgage loan scheme in California is contributing well to alleviating this scenario for doctors. This scheme is incredibly outstanding in offering 100% financing for your house. Physicians become anxious thinking about paying special percentage payments as part of their mortgage in the conventional system.
Owing to the high financial burden of academics, this scheme relieves doctors in this phase. As a doctor, you do not need to pay more as a part of mortgage insurance. Physicians can avail this opportunity and enjoy a better life.
Go on vacation
A doctor’s job needs more mental effort, and repeated practice of this kind worsens mental health. Instead of growing this mental illness, it is essential to take a break and refresh yourself. All physicians should reserve a time of the year to take a vacation and travel to a new place.
Depending on your budget and interest, the place can be a new town or a different country. Any travel directory can guide you about unique places to visit during vacation. Continuous work makes the job boring; many doctors end up doing suicide when they are unable to change their routine. It is the responsibility of the physician to treat themselves better before it’s too late.
Traveling will refresh the brain and make doctors enjoy their work upon coming back. This factor also leaves a responsibility on the end of organizations that hire doctors. Every doctor is not prosperous enough to own a hospital and has vacation when they desire.
Hospitals should allocate a particular vacation period for each physician to take care of their mental health.
Studies for becoming physicians are much more complex than in other professions, and so is their practical life. These things distance doctors from their families. This distance affects mental health when they face any issue in their personal life because everything is not meant to be shared with colleagues.
Such issues tend to kill a person continuously from the inside, making them more depressed and anxious. Remember, no relation is more significant than blood relation. As a doctor, you can still contact them at any time. It is not odd if you call your close family members during work breaks. Additionally, you can often hang out with them.
You indeed enjoy doctor friends, but your discussions move around patients’ cases, night shifts, or a new medical discovery. But with family, you don’t need to be a doctor; you need to be yourself.
Academic and professional life make doctors leave their hobbies. They tend to forget things that they were used to love once. It can take many things into account, including:
- Writing a diary
- Collecting coins
- Playing piano
- Buying vehicles
It is the part of human nature that one or the other thing soothes his soul; the same is for doctors. Physicians should try to reserve time in a day or in a week to work on their favorite hobby. This strategy will change their focus, and mental health will improve.
To conclude, it is our moral responsibility to take care of our physicians. Do not blame a physician or abuse him if a patient is recovering slowly. They are professionals, and their priority is to save “YOU.” Let’s take care of their mental health, and we can contribute to this by just being nice to them in routine matters.