Physician’s Stress Without an Outlet? : Physicians, This Thread is an Outlet
Physicians, of both genders, face stress in their daily and hourly work but also in their off-work, at home life. The work demands may affect the responsibilities in the physician’s home life. Stress may make itself known in various ways from bodily symptoms to personality changes to impaired functioning within the professional activities. As examples the stress comes from simply the hours of work, the complexity of the responsibilities including running an office, the demands for service, and the uncertainties or results of the clinical outcomes and the consequences. Stress can also arise, at some point, from a discouragement about attaining the financial, professional or even specifically the humanistic goals which were set at the beginning of the career in medicine. Stress can arise from seemingly irresolvable conflicts between the work and the home life.
Stress buildup toward symptoms, including anxiety and depression, can be controlled though various approaches including specific professional stress counseling. The self- prescribed use of drugs or the use of alcohol may yield to dangerous and unprofessional consequences. Other methods such as physical activities and exercises, hobbies and simply ventilation of concerns in communication with interested and supportive listeners can diminish stress. Though outlets for stress are available, some physicians may look at their stress burden as having no resolution except retirement.
For an interesting interview on the problem of physician stress and remediation, go to this link of the September 2006 issue of Physician’s News Digest where Barry Bub, M.D., Director, Advanced Physician Awareness Training and author of
“Communication Skills that Heal: A Practical Approach to a New Professionalism in Medicine” answers questions from the News Digest.
It is for communication as one outlet for physician stress that I have created this thread. Though other resources on the internet may be available, I offer physicians (and nurses) the opportunity to write and thus ventilate about their professional stresses here. By reading their stories, we all can learn more about and perhaps understand better the life of a healthcare provider. I have provided the same opportunity for patients to ventilate on “I Hate Doctors” and “Patient Modesty” and the hysterectomy threads as examples.
To those professionals writing to this thread, you may remain anonymous (though identify your specialty) but use some pseudonym including initials to aid in the reading continuity. Please don’t name names in your stories. We would like to read your experiences and how you are coping with the stress. ..Maurice.
Graphic: Street photograph I took today and modified it with the help of Picasa 3.