Stressed physicians rarely seek help

June 25, 2012

You and your colleagues are reluctant to seek help, even when you need it. That's the conclusion of a study of more than 100 surgeons, anesthesiologists, and emergency department physicians practicing in Boston, Massachusetts.

You and your colleagues are reluctant to seek help, even when you need it. That's the conclusion of a study of more than 100 surgeons, anesthesiologists, and emergency department physicians practicing in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nearly 80% said they had experienced a personal crisis within the past year. But only 40% said they would be willing to consult physician-health services, and 29% said they would be open to using employee assistance programs, according to the study published in Archives of Surgery.

The most common reasons cited for not seeking help were lack of time, lack of confidentiality, and the stigma of mental illness. About half cited fear of legal consequences or thought using the services signified weakness.