With recent media spotlight on doctor suicides and burnout, the release of Every Doctor couldn’t have been better timed.
Every Doctor, written by two accomplished physicians, Professor Leanne Rowe and Dr Michael Kidd, is a rare find. It explores the unique challenges of navigating a medical career, providing practical guidance on how to thrive.
An easy 170-page read, the book leads with reflections on finding our purpose in medicine, managing our time and practical tips on how to recognise burnout and seek help early. The focus on self-care transitions into a discussion on group dynamics, working collaboratively in teams and fostering medical leadership. The hot topics of sexual harassment, bullying, racism and sexuality are tackled with definitions and brave anecdotes from other doctors who have been through these experiences. I admired the personal insight from Dr Kidd on his own struggles with discrimination and sexuality - a brave commitment to the theme of self-reflection and honesty demonstrated throughout this book. Each story offers hope and a challenge to the culture of complicity.
The book is written in simple language, formatted with clear headings, practical checklists and peppered with quotations and anecdotes. My only minor criticism is the small size print and the lack of an online platform to continue this conversation.
Every Doctor, however, is a must read for every medical student and professional, providing practical life advice for dealing with the challenges unique to the medical profession. Very few self-help books have been written by doctors for doctors and Every Doctor is just that. It is your pocket therapist, forcing you to reflect on your personal life and providing tips to optimise your personal wellbeing.
It is a testimony to the modern Hippocratic oath, which calls on us to attend to our own health and wellbeing, so that we can offer the best version of ourselves to our patients.
In summary, Every Doctor speaks to a large audience, from junior doctors to accomplished physicians, and is an essential read for 2019.
Dr Pragnya Jagadish is an ophthalmology registrar in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated with MBBS(Hons) and a BSc(Psychology) and has a special interest in the health and wellbeing of people in the medical profession.