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The Impaired Physician

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Increasing attention is being paid to the recognition and treatment of physicians – including psychiatrists – whose behavioural health interferes with the practice of medicine. The nature of the problems faced by 7%–12% of practising physicians include the neglect of their own health. Physician’s impairment is the inability to practise medicine with reasonable skill and safety because of physical or mental illness, including but not limited to ageing related complications, alcoholism and chemical drug dependence (1). Unrelenting situational crises eg intense marital and financial stress, burnout syndrome (2), chronic overwork and fatigue, can also cause sufficient distractions, pre-occupation and weariness, to be classified as physician impairment (3).

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e-Published: 05 Jun, 2013
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