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Is Medicine Making U.S. Doctors Sick?

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Hadeel Abdelkariem, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Hadeel Abdelkariem

    Hadeel Abdelkariem Silver Member

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    Doctors are sick and their jobs are making it worse. That’s according to a recent survey conducted by our colleagues across the hall at MDLinx.

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    The survey revealed that 75 percent of physicians have at least one chronic condition. Of those physicians, 74 percent said that their jobs were a contributing factor. The MDLinx survey respondents included 813 verified physicians.

    MDLinx asked physicians anonymously if they had any of the chronic conditions that have the biggest effect on the health and quality of life among U.S. adults. Those conditions include hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, clinical depression, anxiety and Type 2 diabetes, among others. The doctors also weighed in on whether they thought stress and workload affected their conditions. Some of the standout findings included:

    • 38 percent of respondents said stress and added workload contributed to the development or worsening of their chronic condition(s).
    • 20 percent said added workload alone was to blame for either the condition or its worsening.
    • 16 percent pointed to stress for the condition and its evolution.
    The doctors who responded to the survey cited many of the same career-related factors as worsening their conditions. They included:

    • EHRs
    • Inconsistent sleep
    • Night shifts
    • Excessive workloads
    • Chronic stress
    • Licensing requirements

    Alarming trends
    Many doctors took the opportunity to comment on the survey. One doctor spoke candidly about the cumulative effect of chronic stress.

    “I am a prime example of another physician who has endured sustained levels of stress for too many years and unfortunately developed hypertension when I always had beautifully low BPs prior,” said an internal medicine physician. “I have also struggled with depression.”

    Another physician commented on the physical toll practicing medicine takes on the body.

    “Every gastroenterologist in my group has had orthopedic surgery for work-related injury. Half suffer from migraine worsened by stress,” said a gastroenterologist with tendonitis, headache/migraine, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

    Some of the feedback offered by doctors was surprising and alarming. Trends included doctors hiding or ignoring their own symptoms to protect their jobs, inability to make the lifestyle changes that doctors promote for patients, and impossibly high performance standards.

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