Doctors are high risk group of society who suffer from Burn Out-Mowadat Rana

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Behavioural Sciences Session during PSIM Conference
Doctors are high risk group of society who
suffer from Burn Out-Mowadat Rana
They have perfected art of doing nothing, 
when they seek help it is too late
There is decrease in Empathy as the students go 
in higher class in medical colleges-Nazish Imran

Lahore: Prof. Mowadat Rana along with Prof. Imtiaz Dogar and Dr. Mohammad Ayub Chaired the session devoted to Behavoural Sciences during the PSIM conference on the concluding day on March 14th 2020. Dr. Imtiaz Dogar was the first speaker who talked about increasing prevalence of drug abuse entitled “Locked behind the Crystal Wall”.

Prof. Imtiaz Dogar pointed out that the prevalence of drug abuse is now increasing in women though in a previous study, its prevalence was 78% in male and 22% in female. These drugs are now available in cookies, biscuits, and available in different forms. He also referred to the abuse of Cannabis; its overdose can lead to shock, heart attack, multiorgan failure and even death. In a study which they did in Faisalabad, 38.8% of IV drug users, he said, were also HIV positive. We need to be careful of the addiction behaviour. Often the question is asked who should be dealing with drug addicts? He was of the view that it requires a collaborative approach by all stake holders. We need to work in demand reduction, create awareness, and organize extracurricular activities in schools, colleges like literary debates, sports and refresher courses for family physicians. We are planning to start a Certificate and Diploma Course in substance abuse at the Faisalabad Medical University, he added.


Prof. Mowadat Rana

This was followed by an excellent presentation by Prof. Mowadat H.Rana who talked about “Healing the Healers”. He pointed out that he has come across many physicians and gynecologists as well as psychiatrists who are Burn Out and when they come for consultation, it is too late and one could not do much. They do not know about it and they have been suffering from the last couple of years. One can very well imagine what quality of care they may be providing to their patients. Hurt psychiatrists will hurt their patients. Stressed people are much more dangerous and they will pass on stress to others. They continue to treat themselves without much success. Taking care of these physicians, you will be helping many other patients as well, he remarked.

Continuing Prof. Mowadat Rana said that doctors suffer from work stress, they have a compromised family life. They suffer from lot of stress related disorders. They also suffer from rescuer complex, denial, blame and invincibility. They say they are already doing all that what they are now being asked to do and these are the very reasons for burnout. Doctors are so busy in rescuing others that they forget about their own self. Doctors live in a denial phase. A study showed that almost 55% of doctors in UK suffer from burnout. Doctors in Pakistan, Prof. Mowadat Rana said are the high risk group of society who suffer from burnout. Unhappy persons, he opined, will be unhealthy sooner. When they suffer from Acute Myocardial Infarction, they think this is just tightness of chest pain which often wakes them up. Unhealthy depressed state may continue for some time unharmed. We the doctors, Prof. Mowadat Rana remarked have perfected the art of doing nothing. You will be a happier person if you try this message, just relax at home, depolarization is required in your life, work but also exercise, go for sports, enjoy some family life and socialize. Some are in the habit of combining even pleasure trips with some conference which does not help. Being Mod does not help either. Do your body scan, go for relaxation and meditation. He laid stress on Mindfulness, Reflection and good quality of Sleep. He highlighted the importance of life skills for healers which includes protection of their mental health, team work skills, and commitment to cause for which life skills training is the key, he added.


Dr. Nazish Imran from KEMU talked about improving emotional intelligence of medical students. She discussed at length the four core skills i.e Self Awareness, Self Management, Social awareness and Relationship management. She pointed out that we the doctor deal with people who have high emotions. The developments taking place in Artificial Intelligence shows that many of the jobs being performed by doctors today will be taken over by the machines in the days to come. She advised the physicians to listen to the patients what they have to say. If you do that, then you will treat them differently.

First year medical students, she stated, are more motivated and they care much more but there is decrease in Empathy when they go in higher class in the medical schools because of burn out. She then shared the findings of a study they are conducting at KEMU; it has enrolled one hundred students which includes 117 females, from First Year to Final Year Class. On hundred students completed the study. During first year they have high emotional intelligence and there is a significant decrease in their emotional intelligence when they progress in higher classes. Unhappy students, she said, cannot become happy physicians. By instilling emotional intelligence in students they will become more emotionally intelligent. For this we need to create proper learning environment and we also need emotionally stable teachers. We need to find Champions in the faculty and teach these to the students from the first year. We need to build strong knowledge base of the students, she remarked.

During the discussion it was pointed out that it is the faculty which is eroding the emotional intelligence among the students. Enhancing emotional intelligence should be made a part of the curriculum. Summing up the session Dr. Ayub said that the amount of basic sciences which are taught today was never the case in the past when I was a student. Can we teach empathy to the students and if we do that, it will make a lot of difference. There are people who have empathy; others can be trained to show empathy while dealing with the patients.