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Giving Too Much: Stressful Jobs in Medicine

Giving Too Much: Stressful Jobs in Medicine

Many people feel stressed and overwhelmed in their careers, but some fields stand out as being especially stressful. Anyone who has worked in medicine can attest that nearly every job requires the ability to manage stress. In this article, we will explore the most stressful jobs in medicine. For those interested in joining the medical field, perhaps this will give you a clearer view of what it takes. But, hopefully, this article will also help everyone have a little more empathy for the people working in these challenging settings.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants, more commonly known as PAs, do much of the dirty work that physicians do not have time to oversee. A physician may have many patients with many questions and concerns. PAs lighten some of that load. Consequently, they take on a heavy load of job-related stressors.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Studies indicate that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) experience a higher level of burnout than most other medical professions. In self-reports, CRNAs say their most common challenge is not having the autonomy to do their jobs well. However, with CRNAs, as with any profession on this list, there are helpful tips for managing stress.


Surgeons have a tense work environment—one where even a small mistake could result in someone’s death. As a result, they obviously operate with a high level of stress. Some surgeons can detach themselves emotionally from their work, which allows them to keep going even after difficult outcomes. However, many still experience regret and shame when a patient dies on the operating table.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Emergency medical technicians have one of the most stressful jobs in medicine. They are the first responders to emergencies and often see disturbing situations. On an average day, their ambulance may pick up a gunshot victim, someone who just had a heart attack, or someone experiencing a drug overdose—or all three.

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