Medical Association urges medical professionals to guard against burnout

The Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association (T&TMA) is urging medical professionals to guard against burnout and exhaustion.

The T&TMA issued a statement Friday saying that this occurs in health care professionals when there is a depletion of physical, emotional and spiritual energy.

"T&TMA would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize to the medical community the importance of both physical and mental health. Too often, mental well-being is overlooked and this has been proven to negatively affect productivity, lower patient satisfaction and care quality, contribute to physician alcohol and drug abuse and physician suicide," the T&TMA said in a statement.

It added that the statistics are alarming, given that in the United States up to 42% of doctors experience burnout and the suicide rate is higher than that of the general population (1.41 times greater for male doctors and 2.27 times greater for female doctors).

"T&TMA would like to encourage our colleagues to be aware of the symptoms of physician burnout such as exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of efficacy. There are avenues of assistance available if you are experiencing burnout and depression," it stated.

It said the regional health authorities are equipped with employee assistance programmes, medical students can access the student advisory centre and there are various wellness clinics and psychologists available in the private sector.

Last week a doctor attached to the St Ann's Psychiatric Hospital committed suicide at his Cunupia home.

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