During a particularly difficult period, most people know they feel stressed and may not be functioning as efficiently as they usually do. Frequently, this is attributed to a difficult patient, a busy shift, or a particular personal stressor outside of one's control. Self-awareness enables individuals to begin to appreciate their patterns of response from a wider perspective. Paradoxically, some physicians, when faced with the disillusionment of a lifestyle not realized, cling harder to their original motives—in denial. This process feeds upon itself, resulting in frustration.
Table 288-3 lists some questions to be used as a starting point to assess one's own emotional fatigue. If several of the answers are affirmative, perhaps this is evidence of divergence between personal values and career activities. This may motivate you to seek feedback from a trusted source.
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