Indian Medical Association (IMA) has launched an initiative namely, Doctors 4 Doctors (D4D), to tackle the burden of burnouts and the rising rates of mental health challenges among medical students, residents and clinicians.
“Through this initiative, we will focus upon preventing burnouts, address mental health challenges, and reduce the incidents of suicide among residents and clinicians,” said Dr Santanu Sen, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) in a statement.
IMA aims to achieve this by creating awareness of the issue, using tools for emotional well-being and providing training for self-help and offering D-4-D Free Help Lines to those in need, he added.
As the umbrella organisation and the largest association of doctors, IMA believes that doctors must care for all doctors, especially given the global picture of higher risk of depression and suicide among medical professionals.
Globally, such a risk is 2.5 times higher among medical students and doctors, with those in the age group of 24 to 37 years being the most vulnerable segment. A study among clinicians in India has revealed that 45% of the respondents scored high on emotional exhaustion with 87% of the doctors scoring low on “personal accomplishments.”
The specialties with the highest stress and risks of burn out or suicide are emergency medicine, obstetrics & gynaecology, psychiatry, intensivists and anaesthetists.
The IMA D4D team has already held awareness and self-help workshops for medicos covering emotional well-being and burn-outs in Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi, Surat and Cochin and will soon cover Mumbai, Delhi and other cities.