NMC Showed 37,000 Medicos with Disturbed Mental Well-Being
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NMC Showed 37,000 Medicos with Disturbed Mental Well-Being

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Are our doctors mentally healthy? With over 37,000 medical students stating their mental illnesses, the NMC (National Medical Commission) has highlighted the severity of the crisis and formulated a committee for dealing with it. Over 122 doctors have died by suicides in the last five years along with 1270 medical students dropping out.

What caused this situation? The survey outlined the existence of a much more severe crisis affecting the medical community of India. The survey is estimated to be just a glimpse of a deeper-rooted apocalypse. 

Overwork and Burnout: The work-life balance among medical students and professionals is negligible with long duty hours even spanning continuous 48 hours at times. According to a meta-analytic PubMed Central Research, every one out of 4 health care professionals in India is burned out! Irregular working hours with night duties disturb basic day-to-day schedules among doctors.

Emotional Drain: The nature of work for health care professionals is emotionally draining with always facing a life and death situation. Though getting accustomed to seeing daily deaths comes with experience, witnessing situations of utmost grief every day significantly impacts their emotional well-being. To be the informer of a patient’s death to their loved ones always comes challenging to health care professionals.

Patient load and management: Patient overload is seen everywhere across the country with miles-long queues outside government hospitals. The system is unfortunately inefficient to cater the needs of the rising population. This burden falls on the shoulders of medical students and other healthcare professionals. Consulting and treating such a high population of patients deprive doctors of taking even small breaks during their duty hours. With consistent work with any breaks, exhaustion is the most expected outcome.

Patient incivility: A doctor is often compared to God or a superhero for saving lives. However various cases of patient misconduct with doctors have been witnessed. Along with verbal conflicts, cases of attacks on doctors are becoming common.

Competitive and unhealthy work culture: With a lot lesser number of seats for medicos, competition at undergraduate, postgraduate and even doctoral levels is quite high. Due to overload, workplace culture gets majorly compromised.

Management for medicos! – Most of these causes of poor mental well-being are directly associated with extrinsic factors that can’t be altered. There can be tips and techniques that can help to cope with increasing stress and mental turmoil at an individual level.

Identifying Burn out- To recognize when exhaustion reaches its extreme, it is quite important to have self-awareness and acceptance of personal and emotional well-being status. This can help to stop it at an early stage and keep the condition under control.

Growing as a community: Medical and health care is unique in its terms as compared to any other profession concerning the nature of work, duration and perception. Resonating and developing a sense of community among co-workers can help to achieve a sense of belongingness, further advancing a healthy workplace culture.

Emotional balance: Having an efficient Emotional Quotient, which is a stable way of emotional regulation can go a mile. With being a part of grief for many, emotional drain needs to be balanced up to have the right mental state. Expression of emotions when feeling overwhelmed can be extremely beneficial. Having a social-emotional circle of close ones can help in times of emotional turmoil.

Moreover, the identification of mental health crises among Indian medicos by authorities like NMC is the first step toward betterment. Medical students and other health care professionals can seek therapeutic support if they feel their emotional and mental state is getting compromised. An effort to maintain a sleep schedule and emotional support can help efficiently. 

Citations +
  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/with-37-000-medical-students-giving-details-of-their-mental-health-illnesses-worried-nmc-plans-gate-keeper-programmes-11715494494888.html
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/122-medical-student-suicides-and-1270-dropouts-in-past-5-years-nmc/articleshow/107964916.cms
  • Kishor M, Chandran S, Vinay HR, Ram D. Suicide among Indian doctors. Indian J Psychiatry. 2021 May-Jun;63(3):279-284. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_137_20. Epub 2021 Jun 17. PMID: 34211222; PMCID: PMC8221226.
  • https://www.educationtimes.com/article/careers-medicine/99735482/nmc-survey-tohelp-find-solutions-for-mental-health-problems-ragging-and-extended-work-hours#:~:text=NMC%20data%20in%20the%20last,by%20suicide%20between%202018%2D%202023. https://www.nmc.org.in/MCIRest/open/getDocument?path=/Documents/Public/Portal/LatestNews/Online%20survey%20on%20mental%20health%20and%20well%20being%20of%20medical%20students-%20word.pdf

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