Depression and anxiety are rampant in healthcare. It seems everywhere I turn there is a story about healthcare worker depression and burnout. A recent meta-analysis in JAMA demonstrated up to 30% of medical residents are clinically depressed (1). Residents are not alone. Although few will admit it, many medical faculty and staff also suffer from stress, anxiety and depression (2).
I am a big fan of Positive Psychology— the field that Martin Seligman created many years ago. In addition to helping people Flourish, I believe the lessons of Positive Psychology will usher in the next age of education in healthcare and beyond. Years ago, as I was learning about the field, I came across an interesting exercise that recommended writing down 3 positive things that happened each day. This simple exercise was found to significantly enhance mood. More recently, this technique has been adopted by courses on resilience training.
Twitter is a worldwide platform. We, in healthcare, have a great deal to be thankful for—although in the stressful, fast-paced environment we often forget. I hope you will join me sharing/tweeting three good things each day that happen to you both in your personal and professional life. Please use hashtag #3GTHC (Three Good Things Healthcare). I look forward to seeing your tweets!
- Mata DA, Ramos MA, Bansal N, Khan R, Guille C, Di Angelantonio E, et al. Prevalence of Depression and Depressive Symptoms Among Resident Physicians. JAMA. American Medical Association; 2015 Dec 8;314(22):2373–11.
- McCue JD. The effects of stress on physicians and their medical practice. New England Journal of Medicine. 1982 Feb 25;306(8):458–63.