The sudden death of Dr Shrenik Shah(54), a leading cardiologist in Gujarat came as a shock to the medical fraternity and may be a wake up call. When they conducted a study, they found that,”Of the total deaths among doctors, 15% are between 35-60years.”
Another observation by the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Pune chapter says that an Indian doctor’s average lifespan is 55-59 years, almost 10 years lesser than that of the general population. It was based on the analysis of over 11,000 from across the country registered.
“I treat on an average one doctor a month with heart disease. It is ironical but true,” says leading cardiologist Dr Tejas Patel.
Similar study by IMA in Kerala found that a majority of them die due to cardio-vascular diseases and cancer.
While the life expectancy of an Indian is 67.9 years and that of a Malayali is 74.9 years, the mean 'age of death' for a Malayali doctor is 61.75 years, said the study. "We were surprised by the figures as we expected doctors to live longer as they know what is good for them," said Dr Vinayan KP.
"Doctors are generally working under a lot of stress irrespective of government or private jobs. Increased working hours, the patients they attend to and high expectations contribute to this increased stress. Their working hours need to be fixed, besides government social security scheme. Also doctors should be prepared for periodic health check-ups".
"Being a doctor is injurious to one's health now. Due to stress, doctors are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and even paralysis".
For the same reason, recently an update has been made in the Hippocratic Oath telling the doctors to take care of themselves, to develop a balance between work and personal life, and find time to eat and exercise.
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