Shadowing a Doctor

February 19, 2014

Stress and doctors go hand-in-hand. It’s the nature of the job. Stress in doctors can be caused by numerous factors ranging from excessive workload and extended work hours to complicated cases and demanding superiors, in addition to a family life that has to be attended to as well. Unfortunately, if you do not do anything about it, work stresses can extend into your family and will end up affecting your home life.

On a midwifery placement What causes stress in doctors?

Life as a medical professional is not easy. You have to deal with so many different types of people, all of whom are also dealing with their own health problems and are just as highly stressed. More often than not, you have to deal with reluctant patients who have to be convinced about the importance of taking screening tests and examinations. Above all of this, some patients also have very unrealistic demands of their doctors which can lead to increased stress levels. 

Today, doctors have one more thing they need to worry about. In cases that are not very straightforward, there is also the hanging sword of potential lawsuits that could be filed against you by an uninformed or irate patient.

Tips for dealing with stress 

While there may not be a way to make these situations disappear completely, dealing with all these situations in a more professional and relaxed manner and putting certain measures in place can help the stress from building up.

There are numerous ways in which you can reduce stress levels and here are some of them:

  • Take time to stop and relax– No matter how busy your day, make a conscious effort to stop everything and just relax at least once during the course of your work day. Organise your schedule in such a manner that you take a 5-10 minute break, halfway through your day. Sit in a comfortable chair and relax all the muscles in your body as you think about them consciously.
  • Take a deep breath – Breathe deeply whenever you feel your stress levels rising. Breathe in slowly, count to 5, concentrate on relaxing and then let out your breath slowly. This helps in easing the tension from your body.
  • Regular exercise– If you cannot make the time to hit the gym, try walking for at least 20-30 minutes every day. Walking is one of the greatest stress relievers. If you can walk to work, do that as a habit or head out for a brisk walk during your lunch hour. Try to eat away from your desk. This will help you relax and will get you away from the work environment.
  • Eat healthy– Healthy eating habits lie at the core of good health and reduced stress levels. Add complex carbohydrates to your diet and cut down on heavy and greasy foods or ones that are highly processed or laden with sugar. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet and consume more fish.

Try to incorporate all of these tips into your daily life and you will see yourself living a more healthy life. None of them are hard to do nor do they require a major commitment of time or effort.  As you adopt more healthy habits, your stresses will start dissipating and you will be able to manage your professional and personal life more deftly.