While some still point to the persistent stigma of mental illness among medical professionals, as well as the culture of medicine which includes high stress, busy schedules and sleep deprivation as contributing factors to becoming overwhelmed and depressed, Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan from Halifax suggests part of the problem may also be rooted in the exposure to trauma many physicians face, as well as a lack of supports to discuss mental health challenges, and difficulties and stressors encountered at work.
""As a result of being exposed to this trauma vicariously over and over again, it actually impacts on the world view of the practitioner themselves," Jayabarathan said. "As a result of it, they end up losing the very empathy and compassion that attracted us to that field in the first place."
Jayabarathan recognized how time-pressed residents when they need to learn skills quickly. But she called it unconscionable to leave residents to face storms without protection, such as supports known as Balint groups where doctors can debrief regularly to prevent burnout."
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