What was the time when you were totally utterly exhausted? You were so cracked that you just crawled in the bed and slept for 20 hours straight? This is the life of most doctors in the world, without the part of sleeping for 20 straight hours!
A doctor often begins his career in the early 20s and works way his 60s. Officially, the doctors have work restrictions per week. A resident in Europe has a cap of 48 hours. A doctor in training in the USA ends up working for 60 hours as an average. However, there are cases when doctors often go without sleep for 30 hours, as described in the Atlantic.
Case in point
A neurosurgeon was working continuously for over 30 hours. When he got a break, he decided to go home. While driving, he blacked out and had a serious traffic accident. Luckily, he survived the crash. However, he was left with injuries that could have ended his career.
Some are not this lucky, though. Last year, a 35-year-old anesthesiologist died 96 hours straight. Dr Stefanus Taofik covers his colleagues’ shifts around the festival of Hari Raya in Indonesia. Hey, what was found dead in a hospital.
Work hours have other consequences as well. Some places like India, the residents often skip their breakfasts to manage the monumental amount of workload. This has led to an increase in the cases of TB among residents. A treatment of TB requires you to take an intensive course of medication for up to 9 months.
Consultants are no better off
This is the case with trainee doctors. However, the life of a consultant is no better. Many still work on weekends due to a shortage of skilled manpower. In the UK, 71% of the hospitals report a shortage of manpower.
Long hours, increased workload, everything is added to the stress of a doctor is always under. This often leads to burnouts, especially in highly demanding faculties like Emergency Medicine, OBGYN, Internal Medicine, and General Surgery. In addition to the stress from work, doctors have to attend regular seminars and lectures to keep their medical knowledge up to date. Factoring in a busy schedule is a very difficult task.
Thankfully, technology is helping out doctors in maintaining the high standards of medical care.
Technology in Medical practice
Of course, there is a high amount of tech involved in the diagnostic machinery. Robotic precision surgeries are becoming more popular by each passing day. However, tech is also finding value in the doctor’s consulting room. 50 years ago, the tech a doctor would use a doctor, a manometer to check for blood pressure, and a stethoscope. Today, doctors are using IoT devices to collect and record information, saving precious time.
IoT and other m-health devices have made a doctor’s life easy by helping him track the patient’s health even after the consultation. This also reduces out-of-hours phone calls from the patient, and they do, the doctor has some data to look at and a course of action.
That said, these devices help reduce the risk of depression.
Aimedis for doctors
Dr Michael and Dr Ben have been practising medicine for over 15 years now. They saw an unmet need and decided to found Aimedis. Using our platform, doctors can connect their devices and see the data in one place. They can also get the patient’s data from his fitness tracker and use it to track the well-being of the patient. If they want to see more patients, they can have a teleconsultation with the patient, saving their time for more serious patients. This kind of digital triage not only helps them manage their time better, it also takes the stress and fatigue from the long hours that they work.
The long hours in a doctor’s life are here to stay for a while. Our endeavour at Aimedis is at least a doctor’s life less stressful.