Ever wondered if the people who take care of our health are medically fit themselves? The individuals that alleviate the pains of others, and reduce their stress, how stressed they are? In the quest of providing the public, round the clock health service, they leave behind the idea of a perfectly healthy body for themselves. Long working hours to provide efficient medical service is the leading cause of deteriorating the health of these healthcare providers. Not only working hours puts a toll on physicians but also the decision making, time management, and dealing with emergency crises are some issues that no other professional except physicians face. Due to less time for self-care and the stress involved in the job, most of the physicians resort to unhealthy eating and drinking habits.
A large number of healthcare professionals strive to escape excessive stress, end up taking drugs and other antidepressants. Occupational stress is one of the leading causes of depression among physicians. Occupational stress arises from a number of factors where expectations surpass all. Sometimes they are financial and sometimes occupational. For example, physicians are under financial stress because they were not enrolled. To fix that they must consult medical credentialing services or physician credentialing services. Their expectations are mainly of two types; first: maintaining professionalism during their working hours and suppressing natural emotions. Second: the stress of taking care of the patients’ health and maintaining a reasonable relationship with patients and other healthcare professionals.
Reasons for Work Stress among physicians:
Occupational stress is common among all professionals due to excessive workload and higher expectations of achieving higher goals. The occupational stress or work stress in the case of doctors is amplified due to the nature of the job they do. It drains not only their physical energy but also drains mental and emotional stamina. Physicians face the compulsion of perfect time management. They have the longest working hours which includes not only taking care of patients but also financial matters. Most of the physicians spend hours after closing the clinics to manage medical bills. This is when they should consult medical billing companies. A professional medical billing company or a physician billing service can take the workload off their shoulders.
Longer working hours take a toll on their personal and social lives. They can’t allocate enough time for their family, friends and most importantly for themselves. Hence, they do not find enough time to release stress caused by their job. Another reason for prolonged and excessive stress is the environment they are required to work in. An environment that possesses only diseased and miserable people leaves a bad impact on their health. Also, the hostility they face from other staff members and from other members of their work environment adds to the stress.
There are fewer chances for a physician to seek medical help from another healthcare specialist. It aggravates the situation and leads to gruesome health issues. Some of the health conditions directly arising from work stress among physicians are described below:
Burnout is a health condition that makes a person feels void of motivation and he cannot look for an incentive to keep himself going and unable to focus his energies to achieve a particular goal. Burnout is mostly caused due to prolonged stress, physical tension and emotional exhaustion that most commonly affect work professionals due to the compulsion of meeting high demands. It is evident from many pieces of research that people belonging to other professions face the condition of burnout as much as physicians do. People affected by this health condition mostly belong to the medical profession. Research conducted at Birbeck, University of London suggests that there are 55% of physicians suffering from burnout.
Mental Health Issues
Due to excessive stress physicians’ face due to the nature of their work where they are dealing with severe conditions of life and death, mental health issues are most common. Wok stress is the leading cause of depression and anxiety among doctors. There is the largest number of suicide cases reported in people belonging to the medical profession.
Resorting To Intoxication
When it becomes difficult to deal with constant and excessive stress due to work environment and nature, most physicians resort to intoxication or substance abuse. According to a survey conducted by the professionals of Birkbeck, the University of London, physicians leading to alcohol consumption to deal with work stress constituted 34% while the physicians resorting to substance abuse as an escape mechanism constituted 22% of physicians’ workforce.
Binge Eating Disorders
There are reported cases of binge eating as a mechanism to deal with stress. The research suggested its figure to be 8%.
Physicians possess a distorted sleep schedule due to long working hours, stress and other less evident reasons. According to a survey, about 12% of physicians reported insomnia as their health condition due to excessive stress.
Other Health Conditions
There are many other health hazards that arise due to excessive work stress in physicians. The most common health conditions include fatigue, headache, nausea, eyesight issues, heartburn, etc.