Guest Blog: 4 Audiobooks For A Doctor’s Self-Care by Aida Claire
Being a doctor can be fulfilling, but the nature of a doctor’s work can also be very stressful. As reported in 2021, by the General Medical Council, up to a third of trainee doctors felt a high degree of burnout, with as many as 44% finding their workload “emotionally exhausting”. It is easy to forget that medical professionals are still people and can be prone to mental health issues.

As a result, some healthcare workers have even turned to different coping mechanisms, ranging from binge-eating junk food to even various forms of substance abuse — which can become very unhealthy. Finding healthier ways to cope can be difficult, but there are many resources that can be of help. Audiobooks are a great option for doctors, as you can listen and learn while doing other activities, like commuting to work. Listed below are four of my top audiobook recommendations for doctors to help support their self-care:

1. The Doctor Is Burned Out: A Physician’s Guide to Recovery

When it comes to dealing with tough situations a medical professional may encounter, whether these are personal ones like burnout and time management or dealing with bad outcomes such as a patient’s death, The Doctor Is Burned Out: A Physician’s Guide to Recovery has it all covered. Dr Jeff Moody gives practical advice on how you can compartmentalise your work so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, by setting opportunities for you and your organisation to decrease stress and increase “recharge”. The book is also a strong reminder of why doctors should prioritise themselves as well — would it make sense to tell your patients that, because you neglected your own health, you’d need to pass their case onto someone else? Overall, this book is a great way to re-evaluate your personal strategies and self-management.

2. Health & Self Care

In his book, British author and physician Dr Andrew Tresidder challenges the typical response of saying “I’m fine” as something fearful, insecure, neurotic, and emotionally imbalanced. Health & Self Care seeks to empathise with its reader in their situation, reflecting the challenges of patient care alongside personal goals as a doctor. Instead of falling into neglect syndrome and overworking, Dr Tresidder emphasizes the importance of taking a break and helping yourself. Overcoming physician burnout is about re-finding the joy of medicine, so it’s essential to set a better practice environment for yourself and your patients, to improve the quality of care you provide.

3. The Creation Frequency

There are plenty of self-care audiobooks that aren’t specific to doctors, but offer a fresh and inspiring perspective on life. In Mike Murphy’s The Creation Frequency, he shares the precise process that helps him create lasting fulfilment, prosperity, and happiness. As part of finding a “sweet spot where we are ‘in tune’ with life”, he states that it’s important to listen to your subconscious rather than forcing things to happen. Although your duty as a doctor is important, it’s also essential to take care of yourself so that you can give back much more.

4. I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

Presented as a collection of real stories from nurses, I Wasn’t Strong Like This features writings filled with passion for the work of healing from its contributors. A raw and eloquent piece that balances the very real drama between people and medicine, it not only serves as inspiration for resilience in the field but also an insightful glimpse into any healthcare professional’s many “firsts” — from the first birth, to the first death. Through harrowing stories of burnout and bureaucracy within the healthcare industry, it’s an emotional companion for nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Edited by Lee Gutkind, the book emphasizes the normalcy and frequency of hard times within the field, and how these fuel passion among healthcare workers, helping them stay in their profession.

Mental health struggles are real, and you are not alone as a doctor. Aside from using these audiobooks, you can opt to join Doctors in Distress support group services to talk with and listen to like-minded peers about similar experiences. By taking the time for yourself, you can work towards supporting your mental health and improving your practice for you and your patients.

Exclusively written for by Aida Claire

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