Doctors (particularly those in the tertiary healthcare systems) are notoriously bad at self-care. The nature of doctors is one that is highly driven, competitive and perfectionist, and when coupled with the nature of hospital medicine itself, self-care can take a backseat for many doctors.
Hospital medicine is very prone to burnout. This is clear to the junior doctors who are working in the field where they may be surrounded by cynical, fatigued or depressed senior doctors.
It is not uncommon to work on a team where the majority of registrars are under immense training pressures and showing signs of depression and burnout: they have ceased doing activities they enjoy, they don’t sleep, they are irritable, they gain significant amounts of weight or lose significant amounts of weight and are genuinely unhappy.
Consultants are burdened by administrative issues: long hours, fewer clinic times, shorter lengths of stays, and alternative ways to care for sick patients that do not include an admission to an already over-catered hospital.
These are in addition to the inherent pressures of being a consultant and maintaining patient continuity of care. Many maintain a brave face but their fatigue and burnout is tangible.