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The Most Common Advice Doctors Give-but Don't Take

Doctors make a lot of recommendations for their patients. But do they incorporate these suggestions into their own lives? An article in The Wall Street Journal had a number of doctors weigh in on this question. One doctor noted that doctors often warn their patients about stress and burn out, and yet a survey from Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic found that 40 percent of surgeons said they were burned out.

A doctor of internal medicine from California insightfully said, "We tell our patients to avoid stress, to not work too hard, to balance their professional and personal lives. Yet many of us who dole out this advice completely ignore it ourselves … We ignore it because it is [darn] hard to follow. Rather than closing our eyes to this well-meaning bit of hypocrisy, we'd do well to confess our own struggles to our patients."

Another doctor lamented that doctors often tell their patients to pursue life balance but "From relentless studying in pre-med years fueled by vending machines and burned coffee, to medical school's brutal avalanche of information, many of us take our own health for granted. Often, we fail to see that our lack of balance affects our ability to care for patients with compassion and focus."

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