Specialty: Physicians/Healthcare Providers

According to a recent Harvard report, “Physician burnout is a public health crisis that urgently demands action.” The occupation of Physician or other healthcare provider comes with a unique set of stressors. These include:

• High risk job duties with minimal to no room for error

• Emotionally taxing patient circumstances and expectations

•  Compassion Fatigue: the indifference or loss of empathy after repeated exposure to others’ traumatic events or illnesses

• Physical fatigue: Long hours and high volumes of patients

• Second Victimization:  When a health care provider must deal with an adverse outcome or medical error and as a result the physician experiences symptoms of guilt and emotional trauma

• Stigma attached to asking for “help” or “not knowing” what to do in difficult situations

• Difficulty of finding work life balance

• High performance expectations imposed by both patients and medical institutions

Professional burnout often leads to depression, anxiety, stress-induced illness, addiction, chemical dependency, interpersonal relationship issues, even suicide.  While perceived as having all the answers to life’s most serious challenges, and in their effort to provide healing and comfort to their patients, physicians often fail to recognize the true impact of these stressors, ultimately failing to take care of their own mental health. 

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