Any individual born, and raised in India would be subjected to the suggestion of becoming a doctor. Either one or a hundred times in his/her life. This increased obsession of parents with this profession is prevalent in other South Asian countries. This is because the profession is associated with all the right things, it is considered a noble profession, that guarantees job security and pays well. Clearly, it offers all the advantages that parents want for their children, but sadly they fail to realise it’s not perfect.
Many studies have proven that doctors have a higher chance of developing physical and mental ailments. The professionals are also more subjected to suffer in their personal life due to low work-life balance and as a result, the mental health of their family and friends is also at risk. Now that we know it is not always sunny for the people who save our lives, let's explore what are the possible causes that transform Physicians to patients.
1. Physical Contact
The first cause of increased risk among doctors of becoming ill is pretty straightforward. Most doctors come in close contact with patients dealing with different ailments, no matter how many precautionary measures are followed some communicable diseases seldom make way from the patient's body to the doctors. The current COVID-19 situation is an excellent example of the same, where numerous doctors have contaminated the virus while trying to treat the contaminated individual.
2. Work-Life Balance
Another factor that contributes to the health problems doctors are exposed to would the negligible work-life balance in the lives of the professionals. Their dedication to saving lives might sometimes be unfavourable for their health. As doctors don’t get enough time to relax, exercise or follow a routine they are highly suspectable to develop health issues like heart problems, increased cholesterol level, diabetes etc.
3. Occupational Stress
Nobody likes all work and no play, but when you have taken the oath you have no other option but to keep others lives before your personal lives. This dedication to work and the stress associated with the work-life doesn’t only cause physical issues bur mental disbalance. Work stress has been repeatedly associated with mood disorders and other mental problems for ages and it is even more common in highly stressful occupations like healthcare.
Another factor that contributes to the mental health illnesses in professionals practising medicine would be trauma. Though most doctors are immune to unfavourable results in their treatment, some may seldom get attached to certain patients or treatment and may get their health affected due to post-traumatic disorders. Some failures in treatment and close association with patients can have long term effects on the mental balance of individuals. Making them suspectable to become patients to psychologists in their own hospital premises.
5. Ethics and Duties
There might be times in a Doctor's life when he/she is unable to treat patients with financial constraints due to the fact that their employer prevents them. Some doctors might see such behaviour as unethical but might not be a position to change it. Such dilemmas between ethics and duties could lead to mental stress which ultimately results in anxiety or depression.
Not everything that shines is gold is yet proven right again the lifesavers are themselves prone to life-threatening disorders.