Advertisement

Don’t Get Dragged into the Gloom: Keep the Flame!

  • Niek Van DijkEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

As orthopods, we strive for our patients’ welfare. But what about our own? We can’t serve our patients, if we are struggling ourselves. The figures are alarming: surgeons drink, more than ordinary people (we have 10% more “heavy drinkers”) surgeons burn-out, in alarming numbers (50%, according to a current report) surgeons divorce, more than ordinary people (15% more) older surgeons have more health problems, including depression (50% of surgeons over 50) surgeons ponder suicide, more than ordinary people surgeons consider their workplace “unhealthy,” more than other professions. It varies between cultures, as you might expect. We surgeons need to fix this problem ourselves. Limit your administration, by employing a scribent. Discipline your working hours, so you get a free day after a “night-on-call,” and only a maximum of two nights-on-call per week. Devote some of your valuable time to sports. Up to 2.5 h of jogging a week at a slow or average pace would increase your life expectancy by 6.2 years for men and 5.6 years for women. Make time to really listen to your patients. Learn what matters to them, as well as what’s the matter with them. If you are good for your patients, they will be good for you. Lastly, keep the flame!! If there’s light and humor and pleasure in what you do, then you’re safe enough. But if you are dragging yourself along in the gloom, then you’re already in trouble. Your balance is drifting into the red.

References

  1. 1.
    Van Dijk CN. Are we surgeons finding it all too much? Dealing with the pressures of our profession. JISAKOS. 2018;3(3):125–7.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McAulliffe W, Rohman M, Breer P, et al. Alcohol use and abuse in random samples of physicians. Am J Public Health. 1991;81:177–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Oreskovich MR, Kaups KL, Balch CM, et al. Prevalence of alcohol use disorders among American surgeons. Arch Surg. 2012;147:168–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dimou FM, Eckelbarger D, Riall TS, et al. Surgeon burnout: a systematic review. J Am Coll Surg. 2016;222:1230–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rollman BL, Mead LA, Wang NY, et al. Medical specialty and the incidence of divorce. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:800–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dyrbye LN, Shanafelt TD, Balch CM, et al. Relationship between work-home conflicts and burnout among American surgeons. Arch Surg. 2011;146:211–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    McHenry CR. In search of balance: a successful career, health, and family. Am J Surg. 2007;193:293–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Balch CM, Shanafelt TD, Sloan JA, et al. Distress and career satisfaction among 14 surgical specialties, comparing academic and private practice settings. Ann Surg. 2011a;254(1):558–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zhang Y, Feng X. The relationship between job satisfaction, burnout, and turnover intention among physicians from urban state-owned medical institutions in Hubei, China: a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2011;11:235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Balch CM, Oreskovich MR, Dyrbye LN, et al. Personal consequences of malpractice lawsuits on American surgeons. J Am Coll Surg. 2011b;213(2):657–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
    Moran LJ. The anatomy of courage. London: Hachette UK; 1945.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schnohr P, O'Keefe JH, Marott JL, et al. Dose of jogging and long-term mortality: the Copenhagen City Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65:411–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gattaca, the movie. Direction Andrew Niccol. 1997. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-loBxmnbl0.
  15. 15.
    Shultz CG, Holmstrom HL. The use of medical scribes in health care settings: a systematic review and future directions. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015;28(3):371–81.  https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2015.03.140224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shanafelt TD, Balch CM, Bechamps GJ, Russell T, Dyrbye L, Satele D, Collicott P, Novotny PJ, Sloan J, Freischlag JA. Burnout and career satisfaction among American surgeons. Ann Surg. 2009;250(3):463–71.  https://doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181ac4dfd.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nicol AM, Botterill JS. On-call work and health: a review. Environ Health. 2004;3:15.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-3-15.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schnohr P, Marott JL, Lange P, Jensen GB. Longevity in male and female joggers: the Copenhagen City heart study. Am J Epidemiol. 2013;177(7):683–9.  https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kws301.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISAKOS 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations