Doctors 'more likely' to suffer mental illness

A quarter of doctors believe that they are more likely to develop a mental illness than members of the general public, a UK study has found.

Researchers from Birmingham and Solihull mental health trust sent postal questionnaires to all 3,512 doctors identified as working in teaching hospitals and surgeries in Birmingham.

A total of 542 GPs were involved in the study.

Overall, 25.8% of doctors said that they felt the prevalence of psychiatric illness in doctors was higher than that of the public, with 12.4% of respondents stating that they had experienced a mental illness.

Doctors were, however, found to be reluctant to disclose a mental illness to a fellow colleague because of the stigma attached to mental health issues.

Additionally, 40.6% of doctors said that they would look to seek treatment at a local private facility, with only 21.1% prepared to ask for treatment at a local NHS hospital.

The researchers concluded that education on stigma and its consequences should be made more prominent in medical schools and training courses for junior doctors.

Clinical Medicine Online 2009





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