Maintaining Occupational Wellness
A physician knows that being dedicated and committed to the job means working long days and lots of hours to service patients. Because physicians work so hard, they often experience burnout, which is a combination of complete and emotional exhaustion, low personal accomplishment and depersonalization. Burnout among physicians is on the rise, with more and more physicians admitting to the feeling. When a physician is experiencing burnout, it can really impact their career, cause medical errors, and can even lead to substance abuse.
To combat the feeling of burnout, more physicians need to practice occupational wellness, which requires ongoing, active and lifelong effort. We all spend a lot of time at work and the term “work-life balance” has become a buzz phrase these days. This isn’t always easy for busy physicians, who often experience depersonalization when feeling burnout in their career, leaving a negative, cynical or callous attitude to their work and patients. Here are things to consider so that physicians retail their humanism:
Patients aren’t the enemy
Sometimes physicians can harbor anger and resentment toward patients who don’t care for their own health until it’s too late. Instead of belittling them, it’s important to connect with them and show some empathy.
Find a compassion role-model
To keep a positive outlook on life and work, seek out a compassion role-model to mimic their sentiments and learn from. This can be someone they look up to, know or would like to be more like. This way, patients are more likely to feel comfortable with them.
We all have biases and to help show more emotion for patients, it’s important that physicians learn theirs. This will help them overcome bias or racism towards patients before it occurs. When there are biases in physicians, patients will take notice.
For occupational wellness to work against burnout, physicians need to practice empathy with their patients, which will help them have a more positive attitude overall.
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