The Age-Old Elephant No One Talks About
Over the last few weeks, our world has completely changed. Some compare it to living in a sci-fi movie. Even with all the changes brought forth by this global crisis, there are some facts that have existed for generations, yet only being brought to light now. One such fact is physician burn out. One physician notes that “the truth is, we health care workers were tired before COVID-19. We were overworked and stressed…” While we worry about ill patients, we seem to ignore the fact that physicians are suffering. This suffering isn’t new and it existed way before a nationwide shortage of personal protection equipment. In fact, a 2019 study revealed 40% of physicians felt burnt out, and 24% admitted that they had had suicidal ideation. Although there are programs employed by hospitals to encourage mindfulness and wellness, the problem is more systemic than we may initially conceive. Now coupled with a pandemic, the problem has been exponentially exacerbated. As our doctors soldier on, let us remember the importance of compassion and forgiveness as we figure out ways as a global community to deal with this novel virus while simultaneously acknowledging ways to create an industry where doctors are cared for in the way that they care for their patients.
Blog post authored by Navpreet Natt