A family doctor in Canada is burned out:

“You think you can save the world and so you take everyone on,” she said. “That was a mistake.”

She described a typical day. She might get called out at 2 a.m. to deliver a baby. Then, about six hours later, she’d be at her office, seeing maybe 50 patients until about 5:30 p.m. Then she’d stay in the office until 9 or 10 p.m., finishing up paperwork.

In addition to that, she made house calls, worked once a week at a centre for young unwed mothers and, every six weeks, toiled at a local mental health facility.

It all added up, she said, to between 80 and 100 hours of work each week.

“It’s non-stop,” she said. “I have my pager on 24/7.”

But what got lost along the way, she said, was her husband, her three kids and any semblance of sanity.

“There has to be a point where you say, ‘OK, I can’t save the world,’” she said. “And I’ve come to that point personally, because I never see my kids and I realize this is not how I want to spend the next 20 years of my life.

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