Over the last 2-3 years especially, more and more doctors and health professionals are become increasingly fed-up, frustrated, unhappy and stressed. Many are becoming are becoming ill, physically and/or mentally. Many are leaving the profession, emigrating or retiring early.
The issues facing GPs in particular are well summarised by Dr Jenny Napier, in her blog “Addressing burnout in GPs – time is of the essence”.
Equally worrying is the feedback from the NHS Practitioner Health Programme, which has identified a significant increase in younger doctors seeking help; most commonly presenting at 29 years old.
The rising number of complaints, GMC enquiries, litigation and even criminal proceedings is a worry for all doctors. This, on top of the mounting workload and the fragmented social networks within our organisations, just adds to the stress, anxiety and sense of paranoia perceived by many doctors.
There is clearly an urgent need to tackle this crisis as more and more people are struggling emotionally as pressures and demands increase exponentially.
“Quite simply, it is a tragedy that we have allowed this to happen. That intensely passionate, dynamic and altruistic individuals have lost their core passions and found themselves adrift in the world of healthcare is unacceptable.”
Why I have set up this website
I have worked as a GP in the NHS for the last 16 years and have always loved my job.
However, I recently found that the stress from working in a new and unfamiliar area, on top of the increasing demands of general practice, as it is today, and the challenges involved in looking after 3 very young boys, I reached a tipping point.
I became increasingly anxious about everything at work, about missing diagnoses and patients coming to harm. I no longer enjoyed my job and became increasingly overwhelmed. I began to feel more and more like the doctor in the image above.
When trying to understand why this had happened to me, why now and what could I do instead, I turned to the internet and found a wealth of useful information but it was all random and disjointed. There was no one resource that I could look at to help or signpost me in the right direction. There was nothing that told me what the next steps were and how I could recover. No stories from others who had been through anything similar.
I have set up this website to try and bridge this gap and help others out there who might also be struggling.
- A repository of stories
My story is one of increasing stress, fear and anxiety which led to me crashing. But I am just one of many. I am collating stories from doctors who have or are struggling, describing the challenges that they have faced or are continuing to face and the action that they have taken to gain control back into their lives. I hope that these stories will give you hope and courage, and reassure you that you are not alone.
- Regular blogs to create dialogue and explore themes such as resilience, empathy, compassion, fear and failure. How to balance career with being a primary care giver. Why this is happening now? What can we do about it?
- Blogs and resources looking at alternative career options within or without the healthcare arena.
- I want us all to learn to find space and breathe. To be kind and compassionate to ourselves and our colleagues. It feels that amidst all the changes going on around us this has got lost somewhere.
I will be adding content regularly in the form of blogs and asking others to contribute to guest blogs so please sign up to receive these by e-mail.
If you have a story to share or any feedback and suggestions, please do get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forwards to hearing from you.
Copyright © Physician Burnout.co.uk 2016