Yumiko Kadota was a junior doctor and working hard towards her goal of becoming a plastic surgeon in NSW. But the demands of her workplace became increasingly extreme, and she found herself dealing with bullying, sexism and racism, as well as unreasonable hours. If anyone should know how important sleep is for the body, it should be health care professionals (and the people who manage their rosters). Right?
Instead of sleeping, Yumiko was working longer and longer hours, and was constantly on call. Her health started to deteriorate.
By the time she left her job, she was so unwell that she ended up back in hospital – as a patient.
She recounts her journey from ambitious student to junior doctor to patient suffering burnout and depression in her new memoir, Emotional Female.
In episode 28 of James and Ashley Stay at Home, we talk to Yumiko about putting your health first, how burnout affects empathy, and the stigma of invisible illness.
We also discuss Yumiko’s experience with chronic fatigue and the research it inspired: ‘I knew that what I’d experienced was real, and I wanted science to back it up.’
We also discuss why the working conditions of doctors are important for everyone: ‘One of the features of burnout is a lack of empathy [which] really affects the quality of care given to patients.’
Books discussed in this episode
– ‘A Room Called Earth’ by Madeleine Ryan
– ‘Earthlings’ by Sayaka Murata
– ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy
– ‘Thus Spoke the Plant’ by Monica Gagliano