Despite this adage, it is often
believed that doctors are poor at taking care of their own welfare and lack an
appreciation of their personal limitations, often falling into the trap of
feeling pressured to working at all costs, even when unwell. The very nature of
medical practice means it is inevitable there will be a certain levels of stress
but the critical point is recognising when stress becomes distress.
Being able to maintain a healthy equilibrium depends on how well you care
for your own needs, whether you allow yourself to seek support at difficult
times and whether you have the capacity to build up resilience to ride out the
inevitable distressing times.
Working excessively long hours increases
the potential for error and over time, fatigue impairs judgment and the
capacity to cope. A flow on effect is that relationships with family, friends
and colleagues can be affected because there is not enough emotional and
physical reserve to sustain healthy relationships.