Nov 14

The Recent 10 Year Shift

This was written by pre-medical student Jorge Gonzalez with the intention of encouraging readers to take better care of oneself. The method of encouragement being used is Aristotle’s three pillars of rhetoric without the intention of withholding critical information or supplying false information. Instead, this method utilizes emotions to engage the audience, logic to make a claim, and credibility to support this claim. The following was written in consideration of Meghan Collie’s article, “Candian Doctors’ Mental Health Is Suffering – and It’s Hurting Patients, Too.”

A recent but still growing mental health issue that’s become more and more of a focus has been burnout. The World Health Organization writes that burnout, for those diagnosed, show symptoms of depleted energy, being mentally distanced, and trouble completing tasks successfully. Additionally, for healthcare providers to experience burnout, they experience a reduction of outcomes, reduction in patient satisfaction, and an increase in healthcare cost.

There are occupational hazards that people of interest should be aware of when choosing to be a physician. As part of the intensity the job comes with, comes the challenges that the profession faces. Some of the challenges include one out of three physicians showing signs of depression and forty out of 100,000 physicians die from suicide which is double the rate of the general population and the highest of any profession. Plus, the societal pressures of constantly having to maintain a “higher quality” of respect, living and so forth, exposes physicians to prolonged stress that lead to deep emotional and mental exhaustion. Many doctors ignore their own symptoms of burnout and refuse to get help because of the pedestal society puts them on, forbids them from asking for help. Dr. Ajmal Razmy shares this with us and focuses on trying to terminate this stigma.

Dr. Caroline Gerin-Lajoie is leading the Canadian Medical Association’s physical health and wellness branch in hopes to promote physician health in the workplace. Dr. Keyna Bracken, a family physician and associate professor at McMaster University, believes that part of the curriculum should be teaching pre-medical students to be resilient.

Part of my decision to become a physician was my previous exposures that, I believe, has led me to become more resilient as an adult. As a child until today as an adult, I would visit Mexico and be exposed to various people in need of food, medicine, and care. Seeing people suffer from a young age has made me more thankful about the situation I’m in and inspired me to help others. This valuable experience in addition to my parent’s guidance also taught me how to replace societal pressures by living by my own standards instead of having to live by two conflicting standards. It also caused me to think introspectively and existentially at a very young age which ultimately led to symptoms related to depression that I had learned to overcome healthily.

Patients can take part of a physician’s health by humanizing them. Dr. Castellanos encourages this by creating a relationship between physician and patient. Our practice works on creating a mutual, working understanding of partnership in order to acquire a comfortable environment for the patient and to understand their history. Dr. Castellanos’s experiences with national health while training in neurology in England enables him to affirm, “[the] quality of care we provide would be, in [his] experience, difficult or impossible in a national health environment.” This includes the spiritual aspect our practice takes part in, in order to build a relationship and respect other’s cultures and religions. As Dr. Castellanos shares, “patients pray for me and I pray for them.”

Work Cited:
Collie, Meghan. “Candian Doctors’ Mental Health Is Suffering – and It’s Hurting Patients, Too.” Global News, 5 Aug. 2019,

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