December/January 2011/2012 (vol. 08/4)

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Research Plus

Doctors’ self medication

A systematic review of studies covering 28,000 physicians and medical students finds that self-treatment behaviour is ‘strongly embedded’ within doctors’ culture. Self-prescription was reported by 76% of physicians and only 56% were registered with a general practitioner. The four key drivers for self-medication were: avoiding the patient role; self-treatment accepted as the norm; work performance or pressure to remain at work; and keeping personal health private. Doctors are more likely to make informal consultations with friends or colleagues than with GPs or hospital consultants. One study found:

Occupational Medicine 2011; 61: 490–497


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2011/2012 (vol. 08/4) pp40