Along with money, health and relationships, job strain is one of the most common causes of stress in the United States. That job strain can occur in a variety of occupations – including doctors. While many of the advantages of being a doctor are often highlighted, it’s easy to forget about the most stressful parts of the job.
During Stress Awareness Month, let’s remember the difficult parts of a top doctor’s job and use that knowledge to appreciate everything that physicians, nurses and other medical professionals do for us. Five of those most stressful aspects include:
Psychological pressure from families and loves ones
Many top doctors, especially surgeons, anesthesiologists and other specialty physicians, carry the life of their patients on their shoulders. When something goes wrong, no matter what the cause may be, families and loved ones may blame the doctor. Malpractice lawsuits aimed at specific physicians, hospitals, and the field of medicine in general have skyrocketed in recent years. This puts even more pressure on top doctors to be perfect all the time.
Doctors often don’t work the average nine to five work day like other professions do. For example, a pediatrician with his own private practice may start his day doing rounds at the local hospital at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m., have patient appointments most of the afternoon, then finish the day at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. doing another set of rounds at the hospital. It’s not unusual for doctors to work ten or even twelve hours per day, most of which is spent standing and walking.
Not every patient is easy to work with, just like not every doctor is easy to work with. One of the most important factors in a doctor-patient relationship is trust, and if the patient refuses to trust the doctor, explaining procedures and recommending treatments can be nearly impossible. Top doctors have the education, experience and certifications needed to make health and treatment recommendations – but those recommendations are only as good as the cooperation of the patient.
Quick (and life-changing) decisions
Sometimes something happens that requires a fast decision, and many times doctors can be saturated with information. This can be overwhelming. Plus, these quick decisions often involve the life of a patient. Top doctors have to be on their toes and react quickly to difficult situations, and this can be a mentally exhausting part of the day.
Seeing so many sick and hurting patients can be hard, both mentally and emotionally. This is especially true when the patient is a young child, or the patient is given a terminal diagnosis. It’s human nature to feel empathy and sadness in these situations. Top doctors are taught to keep a sense of perspective and stay as positive as possible, but at times this can be extremely difficult.
Physicians have one of the most stressful jobs in the world – after all, patients’ lives are in their hands. It only makes sense that doctors have some of the highest suicide rates among all occupations because stress is imminent. However, there are things that top doctors strive to do on a daily basis that can help.
As a patient, remember that your doctor is a person just like you. Remember that their job is already stressful and do your part to not make it worse. Be open to communicating with your doctor and consider their advice. Doctors work hard for us, so it’s important we return the favor
SOURCE From :Castle Connolly Medical Ltd