“Heal Yourself”: What Do Do Do Ill?

Today, the whole world celebrates the International Day of the doctor. People who choose this profession, save our lives, give the opportunity to live without pain and suffering. But doctors are also people, and they also get sick, which patients do not always want to believe.

Ill doctor in Russia

According to our Russian experts, one cannot say that doctors get sick less often than their patients. Year to year is not necessary. There are periods when the incidence among physicians even exceeds the incidence among the rest of the adult population by 10-12%. And it happens that doctors get sick a little less often than ordinary citizens, however, experts explain this fact by the fact that doctors are beginning to rarely seek medical help from their colleagues.

It should be noted that the rates of self-treatment in the medical environment are very high. It is difficult to conduct research in this area, but, according to experts, 80% of doctors are treated on their own or refer to colleagues “unofficially”, so to speak.

Unexpected results were obtained in the analysis of data on temporary disability (VUT), more simply, on sick leave, which are taken by doctors. Found an inverse relationship between age and the frequency of nursing care. In the age category of doctors from 25 to 29 years, the number of cases of going to hospital averages 16.7 per 100 working doctors. Among physicians from 30 to 34 years, this figure is already 14.9 cases per 100 doctors. Gradually, with age, it continues to decline and reaches a minimum for doctors aged 55 to 59 years: only 8.2 cases per 100 working doctors.

It is interesting that male doctors are 2.5-3.7 times less sick at home. It should be noted that they seek medical help 2.8 times less often than their fair-sex colleagues.

Diseases of doctors

What is the most common sick doctor? In the first place, like ordinary citizens, they have heart and vascular diseases – 277 cases per 1000 doctors. The second place – for the pathologies of the respiratory tract – 233 cases per 1000 doctors.   Diseases   The urogenital system is in third place – 208 cases per 1000 doctors. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and diseases of the nervous system occupy the fourth (185 cases per 1000 doctors) and fifth (165 cases), respectively.

Among the diseases of the heart and blood vessels, coronary heart disease and hypertension are leading with confidence – physicians even outperform the general population because of the incidence of IHD. In the group of respiratory pathologies, of course, various acute respiratory infections take the first place, followed by bronchitis and pneumonia. Urolithiasis and diseases of the female genital organs are the most common ailments of the urogenital system among doctors.

For chronic diseases, the rating varies slightly. In the first place are still diseases of the heart and blood vessels. But on the second – the chronic pathology of the eye and its adnexa. Third place – for diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissues.

There is also a relationship between the propensity for certain pathologies and the profile of medical practice. So, therapists and surgeons often suffer from diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists and specialized doctors – from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

In general, doctors can not be called healthy people. Half of them are at the dispensary. Moreover, only 30% of doctors have the first group of health, 11% have the second, more than half (55%) have the third group of health, and 1% have the fourth.

The life expectancy of doctors is 10-20% less than that of their patients. For example, from pathologies of the heart of the doctor die 2 times more often than the average person engaged in mental work. American scientists have calculated that if they could make the life of each doctor from the United States the longest for a year, the number of doctors in the country would increase by 7 thousand people.

Why are the doctors sick?

Do doctors – “shoemakers without shoes” and can not even take care of their health? Alas, research shows that the issue here is in the specifics of the work. For primary care physicians (that is, for doctors, to whom patients find themselves at the first visit to the clinic), they are characterized by an increased emotional intensity of their work and a huge number of stress factors. All this weakens the doctor’s body, making it more vulnerable to the disease.

Experts point out that physicians often suffer from a “presence effect” —this is the state when a person, having finished work and having left the workplace, continues to solve work problems with his thoughts and is not able to fully relax.

Stress is one of the main health risk factors for doctors. On a 10-point scale, doctors suffer from stress by 6.8 points. At the same time, the same indicator for bus drivers is 5.8, and for diplomats and agricultural workers only 4.8 points.

Anxiety is one of the chronic problems of doctors. Among Russian therapists, 26% have high levels of anxiety, and 37% have subclinical depression. And this does not mean that it is difficult to treat people in our country. According to British researchers, 41% of general practitioners suffer from anxiety, and 26% of British doctors suffer from clinical depression.

It is not surprising that the scourge of modern healthcare in the medical environment is emotional burnout syndrome (CMEA). Moreover, according to observations, it often begins to manifest itself in medical students in the last years of study.

Burnout syndrome is not just a mental problem. It leads to the development of a number of very serious pathologies. So, doctors with burnout syndrome of different degrees have the following symptoms:

  • Pathologies of the central nervous system: sleep disorders, headaches (and migraines including), dizziness, feeling of lack of air, etc.
  • Pathologies of the autonomic nervous system: rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, tremor, pre-unconscious states.
  • Pathologies of the heart and blood vessels: jumps in blood pressure, arrhythmias, shortness of breath even with small loads,   tachycardia, pain in the heart area.
  • Pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract: nausea, flatulence and flatulence, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea, impaired intestinal motility, biliary dyskinesia.
  • Skin pathologies: psoriasis, various kinds of dermatitis.
  • Endocrine pathologies: fluctuations in plasma glucose levels, anemia, problems with potency in men and menstrual failures in women, decreased libido in both sexes.
  • Nonspecific pathologies: subfebrile temperature for no apparent reason, muscle and joint pain, chronic fatigue.
  • Pathologies of the immune system: increased vulnerability to colds infections.

And finally, doctors are people too, with their weaknesses and the hope that “everything will be okay”. Studies show that even doctors, after the first signs of such serious diseases as oncological, appear, are in no hurry to contact their colleagues. In lung cancer, the period from the first symptoms to the first consultation with the oncologist at the doctors is 7 months, with cancer of the gastrointestinal tract – 9 months, with prostate cancer – 14 months on average.