Changing the culture of medicine needs many actions but one that each individual can control is the need for self-care

It’s still dark outside and I am wide awake, unintentionally. A vice-like grip encircles my abdomen, travelling up to my chest. The heaviness is a reminder of a new morning and with it, a host of new responsibilities. Yesterday was a difficult day, but no different to the week or the month before. Come to think of it, most of the past 20 years have been crammed with difficult deliberations, near-misses, moral dilemmas, organisational decrees, formal complaints, frustrated colleagues, upset trainees, demanding people and needy patients. It’s only the permutation that changes.

But these days my head swirls with fatigue and resentment mingling contradictorily with satisfaction and meaning. There is a lot in daily practice that call for debriefing but there is rarely the time for it or the company of doctors who aren’t engaged in more “consequential” things. Crowded thoughts must be repressed or hustled out to make room for another day.

Related: Medical training is a tragedy waiting to happen. We shouldn't be silent about it | Georgina Dent

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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