Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

Vytenis___Andriukaitis

Vytenis Andriukaitis, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Food Safety in Moscow where he attends a WHO event and high level meetings. © European Union , 2017 / Photo: Vasily Maximov.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Silvia Matilda Aștefanei, a 5th-year medical student from Bucharest, Romania. Ms Aștefanei is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

“I have a dream”. And this is the beginning of the end.

It happens usually that you give up your dream for someone else’s, but in this case, you give up your life for someone else’s. However heroically it may be, this should sound the alarm both in health-care professionals and in patients.

You wake up one day and there it is, your bright future, your dream come true: you are going to be a doctor. You will live a life of professional fulfillment, act like the sarcastic Dr. House or be down-to-earth and charming like Dr. Derek Shepherd. You find yourself in the perfect photos from the Internet representing people stu(dying) and, surprisingly, smiling, surrounded by books similar to Game of Thrones (a lot of pages and complex action, but for many of us, less interesting). But…BEEP BEEP…oh what’s that? The merciless reality strikes again. Quit the fairytale and face the truth!

Studies show that doctors are most prone to be affected by a mental illness. And it’s understandable: having somebody else’s life in your hands is not the easiest game, it’s like playing Jumanji in real life, every decision you take leads to some effects around you. Physicians are in a vicious circle of more or less cruel patients, professional development, burn-out, huge amounts of workload, exhausting shifts, stress. No wonder that depression and exertion bushwhack. In this profession, you really have to please everyone, starting from the annoying boss that gives you extra shifts and ending with a know-it-all hater that diagnoses himself with stage-IV cancer based on the information found on an obscure website and he threatens you when you just prescribe him some Paracetamol for the common cold.

In a lot of countries, doctors also deal with a lot of administrative work, thus bureaucracy slowing down the scientific course. I don’t really know if the family is a relief or another pain since it usually becomes ignored and just another task on your to-do list. When caught in this bubble of chaos, physicians consider their existence being meaningless, they lose self-confidence, become depersonalized and isolate themselves. Adding the fear of being stigmatized, they start to have suicidal thoughts. The savior becomes the one who needs to be saved. Unfortunately, as history proved during the years, awareness increases when someone dies. What kind of sick society is this, where death triggers a change?

Patients have to have in mind that health professionals aren’t Phoenix and for sure they aren’t machines that can work 24/7 and be switched on and off over and over again. Doctors, on the other hand, have to realize that they activate the Butterfly effect from the first step they take on this long path. If you are ready to sign up for this challenging journey, make your best not to back down and hang in there. As Hannibal Lecter said: “All good things to those who wait”.

About the author

Silvia is a 5th-year medical student from Bucharest, Romania. She got involved in extracurricular activities since she started high school (She was even an editor at its magazine). Silvia is an enthusiastic volunteer in her LMO and NMO. She recently became a trainer and medical education trainer in IFMSA and is passionate about teaching others. She has a lot of energy and joy and always has an idea of what to do next. She is interested in somnology and  can focus better when listening to psychedelic rock music.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU crisis aggravates structural differences, threatens cohesion

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Youth Forum welcomes positive ruling on non-EU student visas

Will Europe be a different place this Monday?

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Why is the World Health Organisation so much needed?

ITU Telecom World 2017: exploring smart digital transformation

Five-year low inflation for Eurozone and now Mario has to finally wake up the Germans

EU plans pan-European network of cybersecurity services

“Sorry mom it’s not our day”: the true refugee story of a young doctor and his family forced to flee their home

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

European Youth, quo vadis?

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Ban Ki-Moon Closing Address at COP21 Action Day Innovation, Imagination, Faster Climate Action

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

Eurozone: Austerity brings new political tremors

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

MasterCard at European Business Summit 2015: A focus on innovation will drive inclusive economic growth for Europe

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Bankruptcy or referendum: which one is going to be first?

Greek citizens to pay the price again but Tsipras risks losing next elections

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

Bitpay @ TheNextWeb 2014: Innovation’s Best Friend

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

Migration crisis will keep deteriorating as common EU political will is simply not there

Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

A new world that demands new doctors in the fourth industrial revolution

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

Italian banks: It’s Rome’s turn to confront Berlin’s aggressiveness

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

Responsible Artificial Intelligence

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s