Why Doctors Need to De-Stress Too

Anthony Clavien says doctor's health important tooEvery time we go to the doctor, we’re rightfully thinking about our own concerns–our health and wellness, or perhaps depending on the doctor we’re visiting, maybe our mental health or the health of a loved one. But what we’re never thinking of is… the health of our doctor!

Doctors are often not in good health–wacky schedules push them to excessive drinking and drug use in some cases, and an inability to have a “normal” work schedule means interrupted sleep patterns, less restful sleep, and perhaps constantly living on the precipice of exhaustion due to a lack of REM sleep.

To be a good doctor, you yourself need to be in good health. Patients look to you as an example. Additionally, you may miss key symptoms or tell-tale signs of illness in patients or overlook important details of their cases if you’re exhausted, sick yourself, hung over, or just plain run down.Taking care of yourself means making the time it takes to decompress. Whether that means yoga, church, hanging out with friends, or even taking the time for yourself to go to the doctor before you burn out.

Don’t make the classic mistake so many doctors make of thinking there’s no time for a personal life–not making time for friends and family and “you time” is a classic mistake that leads to more stress, more headaches (literally) and less of a focus on your own ability to heal yourself from the exacting schedule you expect yourself to stay on. Anthony Clavien says, eat well, sleep well, and be well for your patients and yourself!

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