An inside look into the life of a doctor: The physical and emoti

An inside look into the life of a doctor: The physical and emotional workload

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

According to a 2018 Harvard study, 78 percent of physicians report feeling "burned out" from emotional and physical workload demand. 

Amy Thompson is a mother of two, as well as the CEO and a practicing physician at Covenant Children's Hospital. 

She said spending time away from her family is the hardest thing she has to do.

"It's difficult. I never heard of the term work-life balance until a few years ago. It just wasn't something that was often talked about in training and medical school. So I've had to learn my through that," Thompson said.

Thompson said doctor burnout is not just about physical exhaustion.

She said it is also the emotional element of knowing each day that a patient's life could be in her hands. 

"What we do every day is hard. You're dealing with the sick and the vulnerable. I'm a pediatric doctor, so I work with sick kids in the hospital and that of in itself is emotionally draining," Thompson said.

Because of this, Thompson said there is an ongoing burnout crisis, yet there is no way to prepare for it because she said stress control is not taught in training.

"This is something that is on the forefront of our minds, and we have to be more mindful of how it is that we are helping our physicians cope with this. We know it's an issue. I've experience this as a physician, and so we've got to step up as organizations," Thompson said. 

Ultimately, she said she advises physicians to remember why they became doctors. 

"Remember why it is we are here, and what it is that we're here to do. That connection with the patient is the thing that will pull you out of burnout," Thompson said.

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