Part V –
Being a physician is really funny: we’ve been invested with power (from the public and the human race at large) to know how to heal injury, delay death, and (hopefully) improve quality of life along the way. And while we’re not actually taught nutrition in medical school, we are trained to know sick versus not-sick and thousands of variations to help.
Physicians are exceptional…
But they are not the exception. They too struggle with high rates of burnout, suicide, and substance use. If burnout stems from a prolonged state of work-related chronic stress, no wonder mental healthcare professionals are seeing it run rampant through their ranks.
No matter what percentage of therapists find their job stressful (The British Psychological Society argues it’s over half), the toll that the unprecedented, unending pandemic is having on all people is only furthering the breeding grounds for burnout. The unsettling side to this is that physicians’ well-being is at its greatest point of peril as studies have revealed that 55% of physicians know of a colleague who considered, attempted, or died by suicide.
Consistently, doctors are shown to have the highest rate of suicide out of any other profession. Life is not easy, and working within a field as psychologically- and emotionally-heavy as medicine carries an intense weight. Studies in the United States have shown that 10%-15% of health care professionals struggle with substance abuse.
Although it seems counterintuitive, these trends reflect similarly what the general population is experiencing. Physicians truly are not the exception. But they are people, so extend some kindness and grace. All people deserve that.
As a physician (and generally, as mental health clinicians) you are not the exception in tackling your personal health standards. No, there is no physiological “bye” just because you help someone else feel better, that you’re allowed to eat poorly, sleep badly, and not exercise. That is not how it works! You are responsible for your own health and wellness.
Simply Psych is not a health coach or a physician. We are a company of processes, values, and promises that allows clinicians to own and manage their private practices, thus freeing up time for self care. We are experts in back-office support; managing phones, appointments, accounts receivable, and marketing so that you don’t have to. So you can be free to care for those you care for – patients/clients, friends/family in your life, and yourself!
We believe that building happiness into mental health practice is two sided: practice is a noun AND a verb. No exceptions. 🙂
Find us wherever you are.