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This 32-year-old single woman has been an associate in a general practice for two years, and is considering a partnership. She lives in a rented unit. She is popular with staff and patients, and is an 'asset' to the practice. She attends to patients extremely well, although she might be fostering their dependence on her. On a number of occasions over a period of some months, she becomes upset and tearful. She copes by 'working harder' (ie longer hours). At a Monday morning debriefing meeting, she announces tearfully that she has decided that she doesn't 'have what it takes to be a doctor' and is giving up Medicine.
Comments on Dr Wonderful
Dr Wonderful demonstrates many features of 'burnout', a response to stressful occupations usually associated with providing services to others. It can have a number of components:
Dr Wonderful needs help to develop strategies to prevent and manage burnout. If she succeeds, she is likely to find her work rewarding and fulfilling again, and to have a more positive self-image.
© Doctors Health Advisory Service 2017