Establishing mentally healthy workplaces will reduce the risk of burnout
It is an attention-demanding tragedy when doctors’ deaths are attributed to their work, which, after all, is in the service of others. “Epidemic”, “crisis” and “urgent need” are words accompanying discussions of burnout and doctor suicides. Yet, despite this bombardment, there has been no sustained approach to achieve an effective national response. Recently, responding to calls for action, the Victorian government launched a workplace mental health strategy and the New South Wales government held a junior doctor wellbeing forum. Some colleges and medical organisations have websites, forums, action plans, conferences and seminars on doctors’ mental health. Doctors develop mental illness for the same reasons as any other person. Yet burnout, which is a risk factor,1 is highly prevalent in doctors. Why not address the burnout? Who should address it?
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