There’s a lot of posts about the negative health aspects of doctors. Today I wanted to shift the mindset in how we approach doctors’ wellbeing.

Health: a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
Wellbeing: a positive rather than neutral state, framing health as a positive aspiration

Key ingredients to health

  • Physical – shelter, food, water, exercise, sunlight, medical check ups
  • Mental – mindfulness, journalling, coaching, psychologists, relationship counsellors
  • Social – strong supportive network, diverse friends, family

Key ingredients to wellbeing

  • Practicing self-care
  • Ensuring basic physical needs are met daily
  • Existential needs met daily – love, meaning, hope, control
  • Preventative medicine – annual GP check ups, age appropriate screening
  • Ability to do activities that you enjoy (outside of medicine)
  • A work week that is meaningful for you
Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

The doctor as a patient

Doctors are humans. At some point in your life, as a human, you will need to be the role of a patient. As a medical student or doctor it can be embarrassing to be a patient.

Maybe it’s a lack of control, fear of feeling judged, not wanting to waste your time or that of another doctor…

The reasons are endless.

It can be much more simpler to write yourself a script for reflux and get on with your day.

Sometimes colleagues paint doctors who need GPs or psychologists as outsiders. Those who couldn’t handle the rigorous training, that others managed to do. We need to dismiss this false idea.

Every doctor, no matter how well put together they appear, has had difficult moments. That’s what makes us humans. We aren’t superheroes, and having a regular GP is key to health and wellbeing.

My goal is to spread awareness and advocate for doctors’ health. Doctors should feel comfortable to share how they feel, express their difficulties, and seek support. As a community, we should be able to support and lean on each other so that we can be the best medics we can be.

The profession and patient community depend on it.

Let’s break the stigma, and promote healthy doctors!