Doctors too require work-life balance

In this week of National Doctors’ Day, we explore the need of a balancing act for healthcare practitioners
Illustration | Sourav Roy
Illustration | Sourav Roy

BENGALURU: One of the serious concerns in medical administration and medical education has been the problem of ‘impaired physicians’. The medical profession has always been challenging, strenuous and stressful for practitioners everywhere.

Technological advances in modern medicine have empowered physicians. This should have eased the career burden of doctors but the stress and its impact on physician has increased.The complexity of diseases has expanded which has increased the stress on the physician.

Like any profession, for doctors also, handling stress needs an optimum work-life balance.

How to manage

Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders are often identified late among medical professionals. Most doctors are prone to denial and could be reluctant to speak about their emotional difficulties. Peer group systems should be encouraged to transcend communication barrier. Identified persons who need professional services should have easy access to mental health and behaviour medicine services.

Preventive aspects

  • Spend quality time with spouse, children and family members

  • Maintain meaningful relationships with social groups outside the profession. It will offer resilience when impacted by professional setbacks and personal adversities to some extent

  • Pursue nurturing and creative hobbies

  • Workstation and peer group interactions should be handled with tolerance, understanding and a sense of camaraderie

  • Administration in hospitals should be sensitive to distress signals among its staff members and sensible enough to extend support and care to those who suffer

  • Family networking of employees can be arranged and encouraged by healthcare institutions

(The writer is a senior consultant at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Medicine, KIMSHEALTH)

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The New Indian Express