Due to heavy work load, majority of resident doctors are poor sleepers and happen to suffer from excessive day time sleepiness, stated the research conducted by Dr Oshine Thomas of Government Medical College (GMC), Amritsar. This research was presented at PGI, Chandigarh, during the 7th Annual Conference of Indian Association of Surgeons for Sleep Apnoea.
Dr Oshine told Newsline that 71.43 per cent doctors were poor sleepers. This posed a threat to both physician and patients safety. She said, “Poor sleep results in many health problems, including higher risk of developing heart disease, irritability, memory lapses, impaired moral judgment, impaired immune system and risk of obesity.’’
‘’There is an urgent need to address anxiety, stress and depression, among resident doctors through effective intervention. The interventions need to be both at individual and institutional level,’’she added.
According to the research, 71.43 per cent resident doctors at GMC, Amritsar, are poor sleepers, 53.24 percent resident doctors have day time sleepiness. Out of this, 46.75 per cent doctors have excessive day time sleepiness. 90.91 per cent resident doctors of 1st year of GMC Amritsar were satisfied with their life,40.26 per cent resident have mild to moderate anxiety, 31.16 per cent resident doctors suffer from depression, of which, 18.18 per cent suffer from moderate to severe depression.
Dr Oshine said,’’Professional counseling services for resident doctors will help in taking a step forward in managing stress, anxiety and depression. Social stigma associated with counseling can be eliminated with awareness. Understanding the potential impacts of fatigue on residents physicians’ performance can help in optimising shift schedule, thereby reducing the risk to the staff and
Dr Oshine said that India was witnessing growing instances of mental assault on doctors. She added that the study showed that the resident doctors suffer from poor sleep quality, excessive day time sleepiness, anxiety, stress and depression.