Emergency physicians, surgeons, and general practitioners experience the highest level of stress when administrative duties are added to their clinical work. However, adding academic duties—such as writing and research for publication—can lessen the stress of those administrative duties, according to Dr Rein Lepnurm and coauthors of the article “A measure of daily distress in practising medicine.” This could be because academic duties are viewed as advancing medicine. Mentorship by senior colleagues, community support, effective organization of clinical work, and recognition of accomplishments may also provide psychological protection against excessive stress. The authors based their findings on responses to a 13-item measure of distress from 2810 responding physicians out of a stratified population of 4958 physicians. Administrative physicians, community health, and clinical specialists reported the lowest levels of distress. Psychiatrists were among the medical professionals reporting significantly lower levels of distress than the average. The article, by Drs Rein Lepnurm, Wallace Lockhart, and David Keegan, appears in the March 2009 (54) issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
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