What Are The Coping Mechanisms For Doctors?

Smiling Doctors

Medical students and doctors have to face enormous work-related stress.

The workplace for doctors these days is different than it was 1-2 decades ago. According to a 2016 survey, workplace stress has doubled in the last 20 years. The case of doctors and physicians is even worse. The rate of burnout in the Gynaecologists profession is highest at 40-75%.

The impact of workplace stress has increased many folds due to heavy workload, multitasking and a very rapid flow of information. These stresses coupled with maladaptive coping strategies can ruin your practice and healthy lifestyle. Not all coping strategies will work for you.

Choosing the right coping strategy will help you to handle job stress and improve your overall quality of life. Here are some useful strategies that can make a significant difference in your mental health.

Engage with family and friends

Often, family and friends of medical doctors have to suffer due to unpredictable job hours and tough schedules. Health professionals consequently become the victims of loneliness and depression. Such severe burnouts can cause issues like suicidal tendencies, nervous breakdown and abandonment of practice etc... Identify these signs and work to sustain relationships. Spare time for people around you that help you grow and make you feel happier. Therapy and other hospitals can also help a medical doctor through institutionalised care.

Develop a social network

The choice of an effective coping mechanism is compromised due to different competing interests. About 99% of physicians related to high-risk jobs have to face lawsuits. Further, a lack of social relationships can make them feel abandoned by their friends and relatives.

Doctors should adopt an active coping strategy by building and maintaining social relationships with colleagues, friends and others that could help them handle such stresses. Such a safety net can be an effective tool to handle mental ill health.

Consult a therapist for support

According to a 2015 investigation study, 28.8% of doctors experience the symptoms of severe depression at some stage of their careers. Psychological training and consulting a therapist at a critical time can be an effective coping mechanism for solely addressing mental health.

Pretending to be strong can help earlier but it will not work given the ever-increasing rate of severe burnout. Some experts recommend the development of a psychological support network because organisational contexts influence the resilience of doctors.

Don't be self negligent

Self negligence could be the worst thing to do in a stressful life. Good and healthy sleep and laughter are the hallmarks of self-care. Laughing relieves stress, calms your mood and enables you to pass difficult times with mental stability.

Never compromise on your sleep as research has found that increasing sleep will recharge your mind and make you happier and healthier.

End note

Doctors have to choose different coping strategies to handle regular job stress. Besides treating emotional exhaustion, these strategies can boost the internal medicine resident's resilience. Adopt these strategies for healthy and happy work life.

To find out how to improve your mental well-being, visit our Mental Health Hub.

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