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Are you concerned about a colleague?

Follow our simple guide on what to do if you are concerned about a medical colleague and their state of physical or mental health.

Introduction
Worrying signs to look for
What to do about your concerns
Next steps to take
Sources of help

 

Introduction

Doctors are just like everyone else, in that they are vulnerable to a wide variety of illnesses.

However doctors may differ from the rest of the population in their tendency to deny or minimise medical problems, and their access to a variety of treatments which can be used to self-medicate.

Doctors tend to deny or minimise their own medical problems.  

While many doctors access medical care absolutely appropriately, others fail to do so as a result of personal, attitudinal or professional and cultural barriers.

Doctors experiencing emotional and psychological health problems often find significant barriers to seeking help, particularly in light of a culture within the profession which can encourage doctors to view their own illness as a sign of personal weakness.

But doctors make crucial decisions for their patients during their working day, and it is important that patient safety is not compromised by a doctor continuing to work while too unwell to do so.

Have you recently had a concern about the emotional or psychological health of a colleague? Do you feel you are equipped to take the appropriate action to offer support or guidance?

Read our guide on how to spot the signs of a colleague who may be in need of your help.