Anyone can exhibit narcissism or narcissistic personality traits or types from time to time in different forms from mild to severe. When doctors are under stress, they can “act out,” or their behavior can worsen. Greater awareness of damaging behaviors is therefore important. The more we recognize the traits in ourselves and others, the less likely they become a problem. However, unfairly labeling or stereotyping doctors as narcissists is to ...

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How is it possible that endemic bullying persists in medicine despite myriad initiatives to improve awareness, mutual respect and medical culture? In some cases, we can blame health systems issues, such as medical workforce shortages, lack of funding and unsafe hours. But in other cases, we must take collective responsibility for failing to hold individual doctors to account for their damaging behaviors. Most doctors readily change after being counseled about poor social ...

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Health care is increasingly complex. Objective peer review, constructive feedback, and robust debate are essential to continually improve the quality of patient care. But doctors don’t always disagree well. One of the contributing factors to bullying in medicine is the complex interplay of different personality types in very stressful situations. Some doctors have personality traits that predispose them to have interpersonal conflict and being unable to see the view from the ...

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My response to a colleague who says, “I am depressed,” is critical for many reasons. As doctors have tough masks, it has been difficult for my colleague to disclose this. Due to mental illness stigma in the medical profession, this doctor may have been suffering quietly for some time and could be at risk, perhaps self-medicating with antidepressants, benzodiazepines or alcohol. When I am the treating doctor of another doctor, listening ...

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For Meg — with sorrow. We have failed to address the scale of suicide and mental illness in the medical profession, which is a global issue. Each of us can help prevent doctor suicide with these five strategies both locally and worldwide: 1. We can destigmatize mental illness for doctors and medical students First, we can change the negative attitudes to mental illness in our profession by accepting that doctors and medical students ...

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My country rotation as a medical student was overshadowed by a heated argument between the general practitioner and his wife. She was sacrificing her life in this “hole of a place” and angrily stormed out to visit her children in boarding school in the city. Decades later, I now understand the frustration and challenges of rural general practice for a doctor, who is also a mother: Being ignored in the street ...

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Despite meticulous time management and delegation as a doctor, there were times when I found cobwebs on the laundry left on the clothesline too long, or a moldy school lunch or squashed banana forgotten at the bottom of a school bag at home. I would ensure all the important school dates were in my diary, but I was often tripped up by the curriculum day when school was suddenly off ...

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