Burnout is defined as “a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who work with people in some capacity,” and it is considered as an outcome of long-term exposure to occupational stress
Chandigarh: A Significantly higher proportion of doctors in Indian setting experience stress, depression, and burnout, the latest study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry has found. The study, which was performed on the doctors and medicos of PGIMER, Chandigarh also suggested that the issue was more prominent in medical students and young doctors, pointing out to reasons such as long working hours and negative patient-related outcomes, adverse doctor-patient interactions, and interpersonal interactions among the colleagues as the main causes.
Medical Students in India have seen an increase in Stress, Depression and suicides due to rising Workload, Exhaustion, and Examinations. This level of stress in Medical students led to the suicides of two resident doctors at the PGI in 2016. Following the same PGI also launched a stress helpline for its medicos under the aegis of Department of Psychiatry, with the department also taking up the matter of mental welfare of the institutes of Medicos.
Most recently the doctors from the Department of Psychiatry performed an online e-mail survey among resident doctors and faculty members (a total of 1721 doctors) to assess the various psychological problems (depression, perceived stress, and burnout) among medical professionals. A total of 445 doctors (response rate-27.69%) responded to the survey. The study came out with the following results
- 30.1% of participants were found to have depression
- 16.7% of participants reported suicidal ideations
- Two-thirds of the sample experienced the moderate level of stress (67.2%)
- Another 13% of participants reported a high level of stress
- More than 90% of the participants reported some level of burnout
- Compared to faculty, higher proportion of the residents reported stress, depression, and burnout.
- Presence of depression, stress, or burnout was associated with lower indulgence in recreational activities, experiencing verbal or physical abuse in the hand of patients/caregivers, feelings that seniors do not show empathy toward patients, and seniors do not show empathy toward them.
The survey showed a disturbing and scary picture of how our medical students go through various psychological problems all over the country.
“Dealing with people dying or those close to death puts a lot of burden and emotional stress on the doctors and many of them break down. Doctors dealing with such cases more frequently should not be posted in such areas for long. These postings should be short and the resident doctors should be given adequate off from work so that they can overcome or learn to deal with their emotional stress,” Dr Sandeep Grover, psychiatrist who has been working on the crisis helpline at the PGIMER and the lead author of the study told TOI.
Crisis Helpline at the hospital ( Helpline Number- 7087008700).
To read the article, click on the following link
Grover S, Sahoo S, Bhalla A, Avasthi A. Psychological problems and burnout among medical professionals of a tertiary care hospital of North India: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Sep 24];60:175-88. Available from: http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2018/60/2/175/228395