From professional to patient

With 58% of doctors now suffering from some form of anxiety or depression – and 46% saying their condition has worsened since last March – we are serialising sections of a new book edited by Dr Clare Gerada. This month: Doctors treating doctors

It is not just unwell doctors who find it hard to accept that they can be sick. Doctors who see and treat other doctors find it difficult as well. 

Doctors often find it embarrassing to treat their own profession, and that they – the treating doctor – might be less qualified or knowledgeable than the sick one. Consulting with more senior individuals can be especially difficult given the rigid hierarchical practices that exist in medicine. 

We have all been in this position and it is rarely comfortable, for either party. Having a discussion about the side-effects and mode of action of antidepressants might feel awkward with a professor of psychopharmacology.