Medical Resident Burnout oftentimes occurs when medical students have spent several years in training so that they can learn and practice medicine. The responsibilities that come with this training can become overwhelming at times, especially when managed incorrectly.
Understanding What Burnout Is
Unfortunately, when burnout isn’t addressed it can result in depression and suicide. This is why it’s so important to recognize its signs. One of the most common symptoms is fatigue. It’s important to catch this early so that it doesn’t result in critical mistakes being made while on the job.
Another important symptom is the lack of emotional connections. When this happens students will frequently struggle to show sympathy or empathy for their patients.
When these signs start to pop up some students are tempted to self-medicate. While having a glass of wine isn’t always a bad thing, drinking too much alcohol or abusing other substances means that you really need some help. Left untreated this can easily result in other detrimental consequences such as overdose or death. This is why you need to seek help immediately.
There are several ways in which you can confront burnout. One of the main ways is through mindfulness training. This is a great way to learn some healthy coping skills. These skills may include social support, mentoring, or engaging in mental health wellness programs. At the same time, you should also practice good eating habits, make sure you get enough sleep, implement an exercise routine, and make sure you have time set aside for relaxation.
As you work on your own self you should also take steps to reduce the amount of stress you’re under while you’re at work. While stress is a consistent factor in a residency or fellowship program there are things you can do to reduce it. One thing you can do to help yourself here is delegate duties to others (e.g. repetitive administration tasks).
It’s also important that you surround yourself with the right people – those who encourage you to invest in yourself in these ways and who are willing to help hold you accountable.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to recognize the signs of Medical Resident Burnout so that you can address the issue. Having some strategies ready to implement before you reach this point is a good idea. By knowing how you feel and dealing with your feelings right away you’ll be able to keep burnout at bay.