Career focus: Surviving (and even enjoying) medicine
Abi Berger has some tips to help doctors revitalise their lives
Hands up if you recognise any of the following psychological traits: perfectionist, overly conscientious, tendency to seek approval (“people pleasing”) and need to control others, great sense of responsibility, chronic self doubt, uncomfortable with praise, and ability to delay gratification. It's a given that most people who enter medicine will hold many of these characteristics.
It's not something that happens to us at medical school--although a lot of what happens there does account for later problems--it's what we medics tend to bring with us. It's what attracts us to medicine in the first place. Acknowledging this helps. Acknowledging it early enough, and adopting self caring practices, will help to ensure that we do not burn out and that we remain safe and competent at our jobs, and we may even reverse the trend of seeking early retirement. Most doctors suffer from an episode of depression at some point in their