Medicine, doctors and persons. Understanding stress to prevent burnout.

Maria Antónia Frasquilho


This review is focused on doctors' occupational stress. A synthesis of the broad negative impact of distress is presented, as well as its spreading importance and magnitude according to recent research. Contemporary definitions of stress and burnout models are underlined with a remembering of their historical evolution. A synthesis of stress physiopathology is presented. The core risk factors of occupational medical stress are detailed and discussed, with more emphasis in those related to doctors vulnerabilities. Great need actually unmeeted regards the public recognition of the professional medical risks, the acceptance by the doctors of their normal fragility as humans, and their insight about their own vulnerabilities as a group with specifics professional representation. The conclusion is that there is a major and urgent need for the doctors to develop and practice competences of stress management.

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