Magnitude Of the problem:
2-14% of physicians have drug or alcholproblem.
3-4 times suicide rate for female physicians compared to general population.
20% physicians have a life time affective illnes.
35% physicians diciplined by medical boards have had a history of unprofessional behaviour in the medical school.
Cause of The problem:
- Fancy Factor: Medical students and residents are fascinated with drugs and chemicals.
- Experimenation: long hours, high degree of competitive environment, compulsive behaviour, inflexibility, family problems.
- Stress-> Denial ->Avoidance -> Projection ->Distortion.
- Early life trauma issues, family illnessess, substance abuse and medical problem can take their toll.
- Physicians donot have their own physicians.
How To identify the problem? : Look for the warning signs:
Quality of work detteroriation, interpersonal styles, tardiness, sick days, poor concentration, apathy, behind schedules,
withdrawl, family and marital problems, volatile behavior, mistakes, poor judgement, little insight.
Common Symptoms: Mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, profanity, self pity, dietary extremes, procrastination, poor interpersonal
Counselors, Group Counselling: AA, NA, Mentor programs, monitoring.
Stages of Recovery:
- Initial Denial.
- Acceptance ( Submission)
- Surrender ( Full acknowledgement of the problem).
There is a high rate of recovery among the physicians. ( 74 - 90% )